The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the list of 26 men who are semi-finalists for the 2011 Hall of Fame induction class earlier today, and among the names is former Patriots RB Curtis Martin.
Martin is one of five first-year eligible players to have made the list, which was whittled down from the preliminary list of 114 nominees and will be reduced to 15 modern-era finalists via mail ballot of the 44 member selection committee and announced in January. During Super Bowl week in Dallas, the selection committee will select between four and seven men who will become the Class of 2011.
The Pats' third-round draft pick in 1995 (74th overall) out of Pittsburgh, Martin was a Pro Bowler in each of his first two seasons with New England, when he totaled 2,639 yards (3.9 ypc) and 28 touchdowns rushing; he added 76 receptions, 594 yards and four touchdowns. But he was gone after his third season, when Bill Parcells, in one of his first moves as Jets' coach after leaving the Patriots, signed him to an offer sheet as a restricted free agent that New England didn't match.
For his career, which spanned 11 seasons, Martin was a five-time Pro Bowler, with 14,101 yards rushing (fourth-most all-time) and 100 total touchdowns (90 rushing, 10 receiving).
Martin is the only former Patriots player on this year's list.
The full list of semi-finalists:
Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cris Carter, WR – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
Dermontti Dawson, C – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1979-1997 San Francisco 49ers
Richard Dent, DE – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
Chris Doleman, DE/LB – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
Marshall Faulk, RB – 1994-98 Indianapolis Colts, 1999-2005 St. Louis Rams
Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
Ray Guy, P – 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Lester Hayes, CB – 1977-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Cortez Kennedy, DT – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Curtis Martin, RB – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets
Art Modell, Owner – 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2003 Baltimore Ravens
Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Willie Roaf, T – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
Ed Sabol, Contributor – 1964-1995 NFL Films
Deion Sanders, CB/KR/PR – 1989-1993 Atlanta Falcons, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-99 Dallas Cowboys, 2000 Washington Redskins, 2004-05 Baltimore Ravens
Shannon Sharpe, TE – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams
George Young, Contributor – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League