Colts’ Edgerrin James falls short, fails to make Hall of Fame cut

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Edgerrin James #32 of the Indianapolis Colts resting on the bench during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 9, 2003 at the Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For the first time in four years, the Indianapolis Colts won’t have a vested interest when the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selection committee debates the Class of 2017.

Running back Edgerrin James, one of 15 modern-day finalists a year ago, failed to make the cut in his third year of eligibility. The list of candidates for the Class of 2017 was released Tuesday night.

Making the list of modern-day finalists: running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis, quarterback Kurt Warner, wide receivers Terrell Owens and Isaac Bruce, defensive end Jason Taylor, safeties John Lynch and Brian Dawkins, offensive tackles Tony Boselli and Joe Jacoby, guard Alan Faneca, center/guard Kevin Mawae, cornerback Ty Law, placekicker Morten Andersen and coach Don Coryell.

That group joins senior finalist Kenny Easley and two contributor finalists: Dallas owner Jerry Jones and former commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The 15 modern-day finalists were trimmed from a list of 26 candidates, which had been pared from an initial list of 94 nominees. Their merit will be discussed and the Class of 2017 determined Feb. 4 in Houston by the 48-person selection committee, of which we are a member.

Tomlinson, Dawkins and Taylor are in their first year of eligibility.

James, meanwhile, joins safety Steve Atwater as a finalist a year ago who fell short this year.

James was attempting to extend a recent run of Pro Football Hall of Fame relevance by the Colts.

In August, wide receiver Marvin Harrison and coach Tony Dungy were inducted as members of the Class of 2016. James was a finalist, but did not garner enough votes to join them.

The Class of 2015 included long-time executive Bill Polian, and the process saw Harrison and Dungy advance to the final 15.

Harrison and Dungy were in their first year of eligibility and among the 15 modern-day finalists for the Class of 2014.

James’ credentials are strong. He is the Colts’ career rushing leader (9,226 yards), a two-time league rushing champion and a member of the NFL’s 2000 All-Decade team. He ranks 12th in NFL history with 12,246 rushing yards and 14th with 15,610 total yards from scrimmage.

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