Vermeil, Roaf Lead Chiefs Hall Contingent

The preliminary list of candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011 were released Monday by the Hall.

There are 113 names on the ballot including five with a connection to the Chiefs, topped by former head coach Dick Vermeil. Now five seasons after he last coached the Chiefs, Vermeil is eligible for the first time. Also first-time eligible is former Saints-Chiefs LT Willie Roaf.

Other Chiefs connections among the long list of names are CB Albert Lewis, K Nick Lowery and WR J.T. Smith.

CB Deion Sanders, RBs Jerome Bettis, Marshall Faulk and Curtis Martin, and WR Jimmy Smith are other first-year eligible candidates 2011. From the preliminary list of 113 nominees, selectors will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees. Those names will be released in mid-November.

That group will then be reduced in another ballot to 15 modern-era finalists that will be announced in early January. That group will join senior nominees former Washington Redskins linebacker Chris Hanburger and former Los Angeles Rams linebacker Les Richter that will be voted on at the day before the Super Bowl in Dallas.

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