CANTON, Ohio, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Paul Tagliabue
, who stepped down last year as commissioner of the NFL, was one of 17 people named Wednesday as finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The former commissioner joined offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, wide receiver Andre Reed, tight end Charlie Sanders, linebacker Andre Tippett and defensive end Fred Dean as first-time finalists.
The other finalists included wide receivers Art Monk and Michael Irvin; running back Thurman Thomas; punter Ray Guy; guards Russ Grimm, Gene Hickerson and Bob Kuechenberg; defensive end Richard Dent; linebacker Derrick Thomas; offensive tackle Gary Zimmerman; and cornerback Roger Wehrli.
The members of the 2007 class will be announced Feb. 3, the day before the Super Bowl.
Those elected will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, the weekend of Aug. 4-5.
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