Lynch, Strahan and Ogden make Hall semis
Lynch was a star safety for Tampa Bay and Denver over 15 seasons and was considered one of the hardest hitters in the game, as well as a strong coverage defender.
Strahan retired after the Giants won the Super Bowl following the 2007 season with 141 1-2 sacks, including a league-record 22 1-2 in 2001. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in `01 and played 15 seasons for New York.
Ogden was a fixture at left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens from 1996-2007, making the Pro Bowl in all but his rookie season.
Andersen retired in `07 as the NFL's career scoring leader with 2,544 points. He spent a quarter-century in the league with five teams: New Orleans, Atlanta twice, the Giants, Kansas City and Minnesota.
Only one placekicker, Jan Stenerud, is in the hall.
Allen was a Pro Bowler in 11 of his 14 seasons (12 with Dallas, two with San Francisco), playing both tackle and guard.
Sapp spent nine seasons with Tampa Bay and four with Oakland, making the Pro Bowl seven times, including 1999, when he was Defensive Player of the Year..
Also among those making the cut to 27 are former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Jerome Bettis, Cris Carter and Charles Haley. Senior committee nominees Curley Culp and Dave Robinson automatically make the semifinals and don't count in the 27.
The field will be reduced to 15 modern era finalists and the two senior nominees in early January. Voting for the inductees will take place Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl, in New Orleans.
Inductions will be Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.
FIRST-YEAR ELIGIBLE NOMINEES
Defensive Linemen -- Warren Sapp, Michael Strahan
Offensive Linemen- Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden
Placekickers -- Morten Andersen
Safeties -- John Lynch
Defensive Linemen -- Curley Culp
Safeties -- Steve Atwater
Coaches -- Don Coryell, Bill Parcells
Commissioners -- Paul Tagliabue
Contributors -- George Young
Owners -- Edward DeBartolo Jr., Art Modell
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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