HOF list includes two from AFC West

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its 17 finalists for enshrinement in 2009. The vote will be Jan. 31. Two players who spent a significant part of their careers in the AFC West are among the finalists while four players from the division didn't make the final cut.

Here are the finalists:

Shannon Sharpe, tight end: 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos; 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens

Will he get in? He is considered one of the best players ever to play his position but because there is a logjam at other positions and tight end is not considered a glamor position by many voters, Sharpe may have to wait a year or two.

Derrick Thomas, linebacker: 1989-99 Kansas City Chiefs

Will he get in? It says here he gets in either in 2009 or 2010.

Here is a list of semifinalists who spent most of their careers in the AFC West but did not make the cut to the finalists list:

  • Terrell Davis, running back: 1995-2001 Denver Broncos

  • Ray Guy, punter: 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

  • Lester Hayes, cornerback: 1977-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

  • Ken Stabler, quarterback: 1970-79 Oakland Raiders; 1980-1981 Houston Oilers; 1982-1984 New Orleans Saints