Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed has been a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist for seven consecutive seasons. Despite the lucky number of appearances on the list, '13 is probably not the year for Reed's enshrinement in Canton.
The biggest hurdle looming for Reed isn't the other wide receivers in the logjam. It's unlikely Cris Carter or Tim Brown will make it in 2013, either. The biggest obstacle is the list of first-time eligible candidates. With only five spots available, the addition of Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan to the melee will certainly have an effect on the carryovers from previous years. It's not a stretch to think all four could get in on their first try, but you would think at least two or three of the newcomers will get their gold jackets.
Reed made the first cut from 15 to 10 a year ago along with Carter, but both were left off the final list of five enshrinees. It's been speculated that they are stealing votes from each other, and that keeps both of them in the logjam. Unless the voters make a concerted effort to get one in this year, that will likely happen again. For his part, Reed isn't exactly stirring the pot anymore.
"At this point, I don’t know how many words I can say - it’s ridiculous right now," Reed told John Murphy earlier this month. "I really don’t want to talk about it anymore. When it does happen, then I can talk about it even more. Its hard to talk about it every year and be disappointed every year. We’ll see what happens, and we’ll go from there."
Voting for the Hall of Fame takes place on Saturday. Here is the list of the final 15 candidates, from which five new Hall of Famers will emerge.