Following another losing season (6-10), the Buffalo Bills finally got a little bit of positive news on Thursday night.
Arguably their all-time greatest wide receiver, Andre Reed, was named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014. In his ninth year of eligibility, Reed is joined by notable former players Jerome Bettis, Derrick Brooks, Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Marvin Harrison, Walter Jones, John Lynch, Will Shields and Michael Strahan.
It is the eighth consecutive year that Reed has been named a finalist as the Hall of Fame typically waits a bit before putting receivers in. Guys like Cris Carter had to wait their turn for quite awhile before finding their way into Canton.
A fourth round pick of the Bills out of Kutztown in the 1985 NFL Draft, Reed holds Bills franchise records for receptions (941 — third all-time when he retired), receiving yards (13,095), 100-plus yard games (36) and most catches in a game (15). He combined with Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly to set an NFL tandem record for most receptions between one quarterback/receiver duo with 663 before that was broken in 2004 by Peyton Manning and Harrison. Reed was also a three-time All-NFL second team selection and played in seven straight Pro Bowls.
His chances of making it this year are in doubt as he faces stiff competition. Brooks, Harrison, Jones and Strahan are all considered to be stronger candidates and as close to “slam dunks” as it gets with this class. Like Reed, Brown has also been on the waiting list for quite awhile and could see his name added before Reed.
The Class of 2014 will be announced Feb. 1, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII.