NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta Falcon legend Claude Humphrey saw his decades-long quest to gain inclusion in Pro Football’s Hall of Fame come to an end Saturday night, as he was voted in as a senior selection.
Joining the long-time Falcon defensive end were two first-time eligible players, linebacker Derrick Brooks and offensive tackle Walter Jones.
The class of 2014 also included defensive end Michael Strahan, receiver Andre Reed, defensive back Aeneas Williams and punter Ray Guy, who like Humphrey was a senior selection.
The announcement was made Saturday night at NFL Honors, less than 24 hours before the Denver Broncos meet the Seattle Seahawks in the first Super Bowl in a non-domed stadium in a cold-weather city.
Among the finalists who didn’t get in were two with ties to the Indianapolis Colts and current Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning — coach Tony Dungy and receiver Marvin Harrison.
Longtime Falcon kicker Morten Andersen failed to make the cut. Andersen is the NFL’s all-time leading scorer.
On Saturday night, Falcons owner Arthur Blank released a statement congratulating Humphrey, saying, “Throughout his 10‐year career in Atlanta, Claude Humphrey was considered one of the most dominant pass rushers of his time and holds the club’s all‐time sacks record with 94.5. Claude was what many offensive coaches called a ‘game‐wrecker’ based on his ability to disrupt enemy offenses. He was voted to the Pro Bowl six times during his NFL career and his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame – in my opinion – is long overdue. On behalf of Falcons fans and the entire Falcons organization, we congratulate Claude Humphrey on today’s induction. He becomes the second player drafted by the Falcons to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining Deion Sanders in 2011, and we couldn’t be more proud of him.”
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