Former Chiefs guard Will Shields is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame once again.
Shields was announced on Thursday night as one of 15 modern-era candidates, the fourth straight year he has been a finalist.
Shields, who spent 1993-2006 with the Chiefs, was joined on the ballot by three first-year eligible modern-era candidates: the late linebacker Junior Seau, quarterback Kurt Warner and offensive tackle Orlando Pace.
This year could be Shields’ best chance at election. The 46-person Board of Selectors meets on Jan. 31 in Phoenix, the day before Super Bowl XLIX.
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Only Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowler with San Diego, New England and Miami, is considered to be a sure thing among the 15 finalists. A year ago, Shields advanced from the pool of 15 modern-era candidates to the next group of 10, but he didn’t make the last cut to five candidates.
The other finalists are: kicker Morten Andersen, who spent 2002-03 with the Chiefs; running backs Jerome Bettis and Terrell Davis; wide receivers Tim Brown and Marvin Harrison; outside linebackers Kevin Greene and Charles Haley; safety John Lynch and coaches Tony Dungy, Jimmy Johnson and Don Coryell.
Besides Shields, the others who have come closest to election in recent years have been Bettis, in his fifth year of eligibility; Harrison, in his second; Brown, in his sixth; and Greene and Haley, both in their 11th years.
This is Dungy’s second year of eligibility; Johnson’s 16th and Coryell’s 28th.
In addition, former Minnesota center Mick Tingelhoff, the lone senior candidate nominated last month, and two contributors, general managers Ron Wolf and Bill Polian, will be considered.
Tingelhoff, Wolf and Polian will be voted on separately and like the modern-era finalists, the senior and contributor nominees must receive 80 percent of the vote to be elected.
The 15 modern-era candidates will then be considered, and the group will be reduced to 10 candidates before another round of voting is conducted. A maximum of five modern-era candidates can be elected for induction next August.
Shields, who made a club-record 223 consecutive starts for the Chiefs, was voted to 12 Pro Bowls, tied with Hall of Famers Randall McDaniel and Jim Otto for the most by an offensive lineman. Pace, the only other offensive lineman on the ballot, was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection for the St. Louis Rams.
Shields helped pave the way for five 1,000-yard rushers during his tenure with the Chiefs, including NFL rushing leader Priest Holmes (1,555 yards) in 2001 and AFC rushing leader Larry Johnson (1,750) in 2005.
Shields, 43, was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2012.