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Discussing Hall of Fame credentials

MIAMI -- Hall of Fame voters will consider nine 2010 finalists with ties to current NFC West teams.

I'll be presenting the case for Cortez Kennedy during the proceedings Saturday as the geographic representative for the Seattle market.

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Former Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy is a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Two things about Kennedy have jumped out during my research:

  • Kennedy was a great every-down player. Kennedy played at least 90 percent of the defensive snaps from 1991 to 1996, including 97.22 percent in 1994. He was a force against run and pass alike, not just a situational player or one-dimensional player.

  • Kennedy and Hall of Famer Randy White are the only defensive tackles in NFL history with at least 150 starts, 50 sacks and eight Pro Bowls.

I'd like to use this forum to solicit your thoughts on Kennedy and the eight other finalists with ties to current NFC West teams. I'll single out a note or two on each player here to help get the conversation going (while fully recognizing that some of these players enjoyed most of their success for teams outside the division):

  • Jerry Rice, 49ers WR. Arguably the greatest player in NFL history.

  • Roger Craig, 49ers RB. One of three players in NFL history with 8,000 yards rushing, 4,900 yards receiving, 70 total touchdowns and four Pro Bowls. Marcus Allen and Marshall Faulk are the others.

  • Richard Dent, 49ers DL. One of three players in NFL history with at least 135 sacks and 35 forced fumbles. Bruce Smith and Chris Doleman are the others.

  • Charles Haley, 49ers OLB/DE. One of 10 players in NFL history with 100 sacks, 25 forced fumbles and five Pro Bowls.

  • Rickey Jackson, 49ers linebacker. One of five players in NFL history with at least 125 sacks and 40 forced fumbles. Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Doleman and Jason Taylor are the others.

  • John Randle, Seahawks DT. One of five players in NFL history with185 starts, 135 sacks and seven Pro Bowls.

  • Don Coryell, Cardinals coach. Helped change the way teams played offense in the passing game, which helped revolutionize how defenses responded.

  • Emmitt Smith, Cardinals RB. All-time NFL rushing leader.

  • Russ Grimm, Redskins guard (and current Cardinals assistant coach). Arguably the best player on the most famous offensive line in NFL history.