Former Chiefs guard Will Shields has moved one step closer to being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Shields, a Hall of Fame finalist in each of the last three years, was announced on Tuesday night as one of 26 semifinalists for the Class of 2015.
Shields spent 1993-2006 with the Chiefs and made a club-record 223 consecutive starts. He was voted to 12 Pro Bowls, tied for sixth-most in NFL history. Shields was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2012.
He is joined by two others with ties to the Chiefs — cornerback Ty Law, who spent 2006-07 with the team, and kicker Morten Andersen, 2002-03 — in the group of semifinalists.
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As was the case last year, there was a tie for the 25th semifinalist position, creating 26 nominees. The 26 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 finalists in early January.
The first-year nominees among the semifinalists include quarterback Kurt Warner, wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, running back Edgerrin James, offensive linemen Kevin Mawae and Orlando Pace, linebacker Junior Seau and Law.
Two other players, offensive tackle Mike Kenn and safety Darren Woodson, are semifinalists for the first time. All others have been a semifinalist at least once in previous years.
Three coaches — Don Coryell, Tony Dungy and Jimmy Johnson — are among the semifinalists.
The Class of 2015 will be selected from the list of the 15 modern-era finalists plus Minnesota center Mick Tingelhoff, the lone senior candidate selected last month by the senior selection committee, and two contributors, general managers Ron Wolf and Bill Polian.
Tingelhoff, Wolf and Polian will be voted yes or no for election at the annual selection meeting on Jan. 31 in Phoenix, the day before Super Bowl XLIX. Like the modern-era finalists, the senior and contributor nominees must receive an 80 percent positive vote to be elected.
The 15 modern-era candidates will then be considered, and, counting the senior candidate and contributors, between four and eight candidates will be selected for induction in August.
Here are the 26 modern-day semifinalists:
▪ Quarterback: Kurt Warner
▪ Offensive linemen: Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn, Kevin Mawae, Orlando Pace, Will Shields.
▪ Running backs: Jerome Bettis, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Edgerrin James.
▪ Wide receivers: Tim Brown, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Marvin Harrison.
▪ Linebackers: Kevin Greene, Charles Haley, Karl Mecklenburg, Junior Seau.
▪ Defensive backs: Steve Atwater, Ty Law, John Lynch, Darren Woodson.
▪ Kicker: Morten Andersen
▪ Coaches: Don Coryell, Tony Dungy, Jimmy Johnson.