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Familiar names knock Bengals out of Hall vote


Willie Anderson (middle) with Cedric Ogbuehi (left) and Jake Fisher at this season's training camp. His Hall battle continues.

The Bengals' trio of modern era candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame has to wait another year after Tuesday night's release of the list of 27 semifinalists for the 2018 class. Ties expanded the list from 25 to 27 this year.

Right tackle Willie Anderson, running back Corey Dillon, and wide receiver Chad Johnson didn't make the cut from the list of 108 preliminary names. Johnson had the toughest climb with a group of five receivers making it anchored by Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. The others are Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and Hines Ward.

A panel of 46 voters, of which is a member, tapped just two tackles (Tony Boselli and Joe Jacoby) and two running backs (Roger Craig and Edgerrin James) for a list headlined by first-time eligibles Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, cornerback Ronde Barber, and  defensive tackle Richard Seymour.

The semifinalists get cut to the 15 finalists in January before the final vote the day before the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. Three names are to be added to the finalists in the categories of contributor (personnel guru Bobby Beathard) and senior candidates (Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer). All finalists need 80 percent of the votes.

The Bengals' contingent ran into a wall of familiar names.

The other four receivers besides the first-year Moss have reached the semifinals every year they've been eligible.  The Rams duo of Bruce and Holt are each there for a fourth time, Owens three, and Ward in both of his years.  At tackle, Jacoby has reached the semifinals eight times and Boselli three times. At running back, Craig has been there 10 times and James four.

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