Reed a HOF finalist, but will have to wait

Buffalo Bills receiver Andre Reed made the Pro Football Hall of Fame's list of finalists for induction this year.



Unfortunately, that's as far as Reed will get in 2010.

Reed owns numbers deserving of the Hall of Fame. He made 951 receptions and won four AFC championships. But he has been left standing outside the velvet rope because other worthy candidates have passed him by.

Several more will breeze past him this year.

The 15 finalists comprise a loaded group that includes hallowed record-holders Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, both eligible for the first time.

Reed's chances are impacted substantially by the number of receivers in line ahead of him. A maximum of five modern-era nominees can be selected when the Hall of Fame's selection committee convenes Feb. 6.

In addition to Rice, other receiver finalists who should get consideration before Reed are Cris Carter (the only other finalists with AFC East ties), Tim Brown and pass-catching tight end Shannon Sharpe. Carter and Sharpe finished ahead of Reed in last year's balloting.

Carter had to wait a year to get in because Bills owner Ralph Wilson was included in the 2009 class and knocked him out.