Much of the focus around the NFL this week will be centered on Super Bowl 50.
However, another big event will take place this weekend when the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class is announced during "NFL Honors," a two-hour awards special to air nationally on Saturday from 9-11 p.m. EST on CBS. The awards show will be taped earlier that evening at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco from 8-10 p.m. EST, and the 2016 Hall of Fame Class will be introduced for the first time during the ceremony. The ceremony will also feature the 2015 MVP winners and the Walter Payton Man of the Year winner.
Former NFL receiver Terrell Owens, the lone Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee with ties to the Cincinnati Bengals, is among the three first-year eligible nominees for this year's Hall of Fame class.
Though the majority of his NFL career was spent with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, Owens found himself in the Queen City after signing a one-year deal with the Bengals for the 2010 season. He would go on to play in 14 games and was on pace to finish with a Pro Bowl-caliber kind of season.
Against the Cleveland Browns in Week 4, Owens had one of the best receiving games by a Bengal ever with 10 catches for 222 yards and a touchdown of 78 yards. Entering Week 15, Owens was quietly on pace to finish the season with 88 catches for 1,209 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Unfortunately for Owens, he suffered a knee injury later in the year and was placed on injured reserve for the first time in his 15-year career. He still managed to lead all Bengals' receivers (including Chad Johnson) in receptions (72), yards (983) and touchdowns (9) for the season. That would be the last regular-season action Owens would see in the NFL.
Now, Owens is among 15 Modern-Era Finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall's Selection Committee meets in San Francisco on the day before Super Bowl 50 to elect the Class of 2016.
Here are the 2016 Modern-Era Finalists for the HOF:
- Morten Andersen, Kicker - 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
- Steve Atwater, Safety - 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
- Don Coryell, Coach - 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
- Terrell Davis, Running Back - 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
- Tony Dungy, Coach - 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts
- Alan Faneca, Offensive Guard - 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
- Brett Favre, Quarterback - 1991 Atlanta Falcons, 1992-2007 Green Bay Packers, 2008 New York Jets, 2009-2010 Minnesota Vikings
- Kevin Greene, Linebacker/Defensive End - 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
- Marvin Harrison, Wide Receiver - 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts
- Joe Jacoby, Offensive Tackle - 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
- Edgerrin James, Running Back - 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks
- John Lynch, Free Safety - 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
- Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver - 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals
- Orlando Pace, Offensive Tackle - 1997-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Chicago Bears
- Kurt Warner, Quarterback - 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams, 2004 New York Giants, 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals
Those 15 Modern-Era Finalists join three other finalists to comprise 18 finalists under consideration for the HOF.
Two Senior Finalists were announced in August 2015 by the Seniors Committee that reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago:
- Ken Stabler, Quarterback -- 1970-1979 Oakland Raiders, 1980-1981 Houston Oilers, 1982-1984 New Orleans Saints
- Dick Stanfel, Guard -- 1952-55 Detroit Lions, 1956-58 Washington Redskins
In addition to those 17 players and coaches, a contributor finalist announced in September was selected by the HOF's Contributor Committee, which considers people, other than players and coaches, who made outstanding contributions to pro football.
That man is Edward DeBartolo, Jr., the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers from 1977-2000. During that time, San Francisco took home five Super Bowl trophies and was arguably the best franchise in pro sports over that span.
To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent during annual selection meeting.