The log jam at wide receiver for the Pro Football Hall of Fame is beginning to clear. That process has not, however, started with Buffalo Bills great Andre Reed.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter was among five modern era finalists that will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame this coming August. He'll be joined by legendary head coach Bill Parcells, Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Larry Allen, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp.
Just two years ago, Reed made the cut for the final ten ahead of Carter, but ultimately did not get selected for the 2011 Hall class. Both Reed and Carter made it into the top ten this year - Reed for a third consecutive year, Carter for a second - but Carter snuck ahead of Reed in the cut down to the final five, then was voted into the Hall.
The upside to Carter leap-frogging Reed for the Hall of Fame is that it breaks up a trio of receivers that had been stealing votes from each other for years. (Oakland Raiders receiver Tim Brown did not make the cut to the final ten this year.) That could accelerate Reed's ascent into the Hall; most believe it will happen eventually. Still, this is likely a bitter pill to swallow for Reed, knowing that he was ahead of Carter in this process just two years ago.
Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News, who has a Hall vote and annually presents Reed as a candidate, noted on Twitter that Carter's 130 career touchdowns (to Reed's 87) was the big factor in Carter passing Reed in the process.
Curley Culp and Dave Robinson will be enshrined this fall, as well, as senior nominees.