Will this be their year? 2012 Hall of Fame finalists

Here's something that's not related to a certain game this week. Today the NFL Network announced the semi-finalists for the 2012 Hall of Fame. There are some familiar names on the list, as well as a few who have made several appearances.

Three former 49ers make the list:

Roger Craig, RB

Craig is so synonymous with the 49ers and Joe Montana that it's sometimes difficult to remember that he also played for the Los Angeles Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings.

During his career he rushed for a total of 8,189 yards on 1,991 carries for an average of 4.1 yards per carry which is pretty good in any era. He had 56 rushing TDs and 17 receiving TDs.

Will he finally make it? I don't know. It's hard to say that he's more deserving of a spot than Terrell Davis, Jerome Bettis, or Curtis Martin.

Charles Haley, DE

Haley played 13 seasons in the NFL and totaled over 100 sacks during that time. He's the only player to have 5 Super Bowl rings. Does he deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. Despite his difficult (an understatement if there ever was one) that shouldn't detract from his performance on the field. Hopefully the voters finally move past his unpleasant personality and give him the recognition he deserves.

Chris Doleman, DE

Doleman only played for the 49ers for 3 years (1996, 1997, 1998). He's a great defensive lineman who in his 15 seasons notched 150.5 sacks. That's 10 sacks a year, including one season in Minnesota where he had 21 sacks! He definitely deserves a spot, but I don't really think of him as a 49er.

Eddie Debartolo Jr, Owner

We all know about Eddie D. After a rough start in San Francisco (he hired the worst manager professional football has ever seen) he turned the 49ers around and turned the team into a legendary team. Thanks to his ownership the 49ers had a decade and a half of dominance. I doubt any owner has had more former players request that he introduce them than has Eddie DeBartolo Jr.

I'm sure that his exclusion from the Hall of Fame is exclusively due to the gambling and bribery scandal that cost him control of the 49ers. It's time the voters look past that and honor him by voting him into the Hall.

The rest of the semi-finalists are below the jump with my thoughts on whether they'll make it this year

" Steve Atwater, S -- 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets

He played a long time for the Broncos, but I'm not sure he's a HOF worthy player.

" Jerome Bettis, RB -- 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

Bettis doesn't get much respect when talking about all time great running backs but A.) He was a big man playing RB (250 lbs for most of his career), and B.) He rushed for over 13,000 yards for his career. Does he deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame? I'm not sure.

" Tim Brown, WR/KR -- 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

He should be in but I suspect he'll always be on the bubble.

" Cris Carter, WR -- 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins

Tim Brown and Andre Reed deserve a spot before Chris Carter does.

" Don Coryell, Coach -- 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers

He invented the modern NFL offense. It's a crime he's not in the Hall of Fame yet.

" Roger Craig, RB -- 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings

I honestly think that Terrell Davis, Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis deserve a spot more than Craig.

" Terrell Davis, RB -- 1995-2001 Denver Broncos

He only played for 7 seasons but he averaged 4.6 yards per carry and totalled 7607 yards. He's one of only 6 players who have rushed for 2000 yards in a single season.

" Dermontti Dawson, C -- 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers

He should be. He was voted to 7 straight Pro Bowls, which is an amazing feat especially since this was before the internet. Even though the Steelers don't retire numbers the organization has not issued his number to a player since he retired.

" Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner -- 1979-2000 San Francisco 49ers

I hope this is the year but I don't have much faith. He absolutely deserves it.

" Chris Doleman, DE/LB -- 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers

Yes, he definitely deserves a spot.

" Kevin Greene, LB/DE -- 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers

Greene should be in, but I don't think this will be the year.

" Charles Haley, DE/LB -- 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys

I think this will finally be the year he makes it.

" Cortez Kennedy, DT -- 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks

I really don't think he deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame.

" Curtis Martin, RB -- 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets

He should be, but I don't think he will. Not this year anyway

" Clay Matthews, LB -- 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons

20 years is a long time to play professional football. Does he deserve a spot? I don't know. I think he's a bubble player.

" Karl Mecklenburg, LB -- 1983-1994 Denver Broncos

Mecklenburg definitely doesn't deserve a spot. Matthews will make it before Mecklenburg.

" Bill Parcells, Coach -- 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys

I'll be shocked if Parcells isn't in the Hall of Fame this ballot

" Andre Reed, WR -- 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins

Andre Reed should be in it, but I don't think he will. I suspect Tim Brown makes it before Andre Reed.

" Willie Roaf, T -- 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs

Roaf is one of the greatest offensive linemen of all time. He should make it.

" Donnie Shell, S -- 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers

Shell had a long career but he wasn't a top player for most of that. Above average and a definite contributor to his teams but not all-star and not Hall of Fame worthy in my view.

" Will Shields, G -- 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs

In 14 seasons Shields never missed a game and failed to start only one (his first game as a rookie). He's absolutely worth of membership in the Hall.

" Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner -- 1989-2006 National Football League

He'll make it but not this year.

" Steve Tasker, ST/WR -- 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills

He's a great WR but Hall of Fame worthy? Don't think so.

" Aeneas Williams, CB/S -- 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams

Absolutely not, if only because he laid the hit on Steve Young that ended his career.

" Ron Wolf, Contributor -- 1963-1974, 1978-1990 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1975-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1990 New York Jets, 1991-2001 Green Bay Packers

Yeah, he probably deserves a spot if only for his work with the Packers. I don't think he makes it this year though.

" George Young, Contributor -- 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League

Young deserves it more than Ron Wolf though. The Giants won two Super Bowls while he was manager.

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