INDIANAPOLIS — Edgerrin James, the greatest running back in Indianapolis Colts franchise history, on Tuesday was named one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
The finalist distinction is James' second in the past three years. He is the only running back that advanced to the finalist round for the Class of 2018; San Francisco 49ers great Roger Craig was voted a semifinalist this year for a 10th time, but did not advance.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will next meet on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Minneapolis, host of this year's Super Bowl, to elect the Class of 2018, which will be formally enshrined into Canton in August.
Statistically one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, James played 11 NFL seasons, including his first seven with the Indianapolis Colts. In his career, James was named to four Pro Bowls and rushed for 12,246 yards, which ranks 13th on the all-time list. His 15,610 total yards from scrimmage ranks 11th all-time among running backs, and is more than Hall of Fame backs Eric Dickerson, Jerome Bettis and Jim Brown.
The Colts' fourth-overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft out of Miami, James lit up the league from the start in his NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign, leading the NFL in rushing with 1,553 yards and also scoring 13 touchdowns on the ground and four touchdowns through the air.
He's the greatest running back in Colts history, and leads the franchise in career rushing yards (9,226), rushing touchdowns (64), rushing yards per game average (96.1), rushing yards in a single season (1,709 in 2000) and most seasons with 1,000 rushing yards (five).
James, who has been voted at least a Hall of Fame semifinalist for the past four years, was also selected as one of 15 Modern-Era finalists for the Class of 2016, alongside his former teammate, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, and former head coach, Tony Dungy. Harrison and Dungy would end up being enshrined later that year.
Four other greats with Colts ties were named initial nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018, though only James would advance to the semifinalist round: offensive linemen Jeff Saturday (who was in his first year of eligibility), Ray Donaldson and Chris Hinton and pass rusher Cornelius Bennett.
The 2018 Modern-Era Finalists with their positions, years and teams:
- Ray Lewis, LB - 1996-2012 Baltimore Ravens
- Brian Urlacher, LB - 2000-2012 Chicago Bears
- Edgerrin James, RB - 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks
- Randy Moss, WR - 1998-2004, 2010 Minnesota Vikings, 2005-06 Oakland Raiders, 2007-2010 New England Patriots, 2010 Tennessee Titans, 2012 San Francisco 49ers
- Terrell Owens, WR - 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals
- Isaac Bruce, WR - 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
- John Lynch, FS - 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
- Brian Dawkins, S - 1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles, 2009-2011 Denver Broncos
- Everson Walls, CB - 1981-89 Dallas Cowboys, 1990-92 New York Giants, 1992-93 Cleveland Browns
- Ty Law, CB - 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
- Tony Boselli, T - 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve)
- Kevin Mawae, C/G - 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
- Joe Jacoby, T - 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
- Steve Hutchinson, G - 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans
- Alan Faneca, G - 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals.
The modern-era finalists join three other finalists to comprise 18 finalists under consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2018.
Two Senior Finalists were announced in August 2017 by the Seniors Committee that reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago:
- Robert Brazile, Linebacker - 1975-1984 Houston Oilers
- Jerry Kramer, Guard - 1958-1968 Green Bay Packers
One Contributor Finalist, also announced in August, was selected by the Hall of Fame's Contributor Committee that considers persons, other than players and coaches, who made outstanding contributions to professional football:
- Bobby Beathard, General Manager/Personnel Administrator - 1966-67 Kansas City Chiefs, 1968-1971 Atlanta Falcons, 1972-77 Miami Dolphins, 1978-1988 Washington Redskins, 1990-99 San Diego Chargers
To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent during the annual selection meeting.