Sapp, Strahan and offensive linemen Larry Allen and Jonathan Ogden are the first-year finalists who will be considered by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee in a Feb. 2 meeting.
Eleven others from the modern era and two senior nominees will also have their hall credentials examined by the committee.
At least four and as many as seven people will be inducted this year. A finalist must receive at least 37 votes from the 46-member Selection Committee.
Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are scheduled for Aug. 2-4.
Strahan was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection over 15 seasons, all with the New York Giants. He set the NFL single-season record with 22.5 sacks in 2001 and wound up with 141.5 sacks -- fifth most all-time -- in his career.
Sapp had 96.5 sacks in his career with Tampa Bay and Oakland. He also was voted to seven Pro Bowls. He had 16.5 sacks in 1999 included in Tampa Bay record 77.
Other players on the Hall of Fame finalists list are: wide receivers Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed, running back Jerome Bettis, defensive end/linebackers Kevin Greene and Charles Haley, guard Will Shields, cornerback Aeneas Williams, Coach Bill Parcells and owners Art Modell and Eddie DeBartolo Jr.
Defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson are the senior nominees.
Rosie O'Donnell unveils nearly 50-pound weight loss
Putin thinks Obama would save him if he were drowning