Bill Polian, Ron Wolf chosen as Hall of Fame finalists


The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced in August that they would be adding a special "contributor" category to the voting process, starting with next year's Hall of Fame class. We've learned the first two nominees.

Former general managers Bill Polian and Ron Wolf were both chosen Wednesday as finalists for the Hall's Class of 2015. They will need 80 percent of the vote from voters on January 31.

Polian is well known for building up three different franchises as a personnel chief: The 90's Buffalo Bills, the expansion Carolina Panthers, and the Indianapolis Colts during most of the Peyton Manning era. Polian's sometimes contentious relationship with the media didn't hurt him in the process.

"Wow! I don't know what to say. I'm speechless," Polian said Wednesday via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Charean Williams.

Wolf worked under Al Davis in Oakland from 1963-1990, with a notably frustrating three-year run with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1975-1978. Wolf then was hired as general manager in Green Bay in 1991, where two of his biggest early moves were to hire coach Mike Holmgren and trade for Brett Favre. Wolf's scouting methods and ways of running a personnel department are still widely used around the NFL.

Williams and eight other voters spent Wednesday going through eleven possible nominees, including former Cowboys GM Gil Brandt, who now works with NFL Media.

Only nine contributors have been selected in the last 49 years of voting, and the Hall of Fame wanted to correct that trend. Polian and Wolf essentially will not be competing "against" modern era players to be inducted. They will be finalists, and considered separately from the players. Much like the senior's committee nominees, Polian and Wolf should both have a solid chance to be chosen.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the top 10 under the radar Pro Bowl candidates for 2014. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.