Defensive linemen Michael Strahan and Warren Sapp were among 13 National Football League players named first-year nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
With eligibility requiring that players be retired for five seasons, kicker Morten Andersen and quarterback Steve McNair, who died in 2009, also were among those nominated for the first time, the Canton, Ohio-based Hall said on its website.
Other new nominees include guard Larry Allen, a six-time All-Pro; running back Priest Holmes; defensive linemen Sam Adams, Ted Washington and Bryant Young; safety John Lynch; offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden; wide receiver Keenan McCardell; and center Tom Nalen.
There are a total of 127 nominees for the Hall’s 2013 class, including 89 players, 14 coaches and 24 contributors. The group will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in January. Between four and seven new members of the Hall will be selected on Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
Strahan, 40, was a four-time All-Pro who played his entire career with the New York Giants. His 141.5 sacks are fifth since the statistic was first kept in 1982. He had a record 22.5 sacks in 2001, when he was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.
Sapp, who played his first nine years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and final four with the Oakland Raiders, retired in 2007 with 96.5 sacks. He was a four-time All-Pro.
Andersen, 52, played from 1982 to 2007, including his first 13 seasons with the New Orleans Saints and eight with the Atlanta Falcons. A three-time All-Pro, Andersen’s 2,544 points and 382 games are the most in NFL history.
McNair, who played from 1995 to 2007, was killed by his girlfriend in what police said was a murder-suicide in July 2009. A three-time Pro Bowl player, he was named the Most Valuable Player by AP in 2003 while a member of the Tennessee Titans.
Defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson were nominated by the Hall’s Seniors Committee in August.