Tampa, Fla. – Former Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Cortez Kennedy will have to wait another year for another opportunity next year to be selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Kennedy did not make the first reduction of the 15 finalists for induction, when the list was reduced down to 10.
Ex-Seahawk John Randle also did not make the final cut, getting eliminated as the selection committee reduced its list to the final five.
Heading to Canton are career sacks leader Bruce Smith, defensive back Rod Woodson Bills owner Ralph Wilson, the late Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas, former Minnesota and Tampa Bay guard Randall McDaniel and the late Bob Hayes, an elective wideout for Dallas and the 1964 Olympic 100 meters gold medalist.
Inductions will be held on Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio. The six-member class brings the total numbers of Hall of Fame members to 253.
Kennedy, who spent all 11 years of his NFL career with Seattle, made the finalist list for the first time this season. He appeared to have a legitimate chance to get into the Hall of Fame, but failed to make the list of final 10. Kennedy was selected as the NFL defensive player of the year in 1992 on a team that finished 2-14 that season. Kennedy also went to eight Pro Bowls and was selected to the all-decade team for the 90s.
Randle dropped off the list when the final five were selected.
He spent time with the Seahawks from 2001 to 2003 after an 11-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings that included six Pro Bowls. Randle also earned a Pro Bowl selection while with the Seahawks in 2001.
To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum 80 percent vote from the committee.
It was an emotional scene for those who were selected. Smith openly wept, and thanked his parents for providing the support that allowed him to become one of the best pass rushers in the league.
"I am blessed right now to be standing in front of you," said Smith, with tears welling in his eyes. "I cry because I am not less than a man but because I am a man."
Lucille Hester, Hayes’ sister, shouted when her brother’s name was announced, and joyfully wept while former Dallas Cowboys’ receiver Michael Irvin held her.
Hester read a note Hayes wrote before he died in case he made the Hall of Fame. Hayes thanked people from the city of Dallas to the Dallas Cowboys to the city of Jacksonville, Fla., where he grew up.
"Tell all my teammates I love them," he wrote.
Others who did not make the final list include Shannon Sharpe, Chris Carter, Russ Grimm, Andre Reed, Richard Dent, Dermonti Dawson, Bob Kuechenberg, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue Tagliabue and senior committee nominee defensive end Claude Humphrey.