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Bill Polian a finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame

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Former Buffalo Bills general manager Bill Polian is one of two finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the new Contributor category.

Jed Jacobsohn

This past August, we lamented the fact that no more Buffalo Bills would be entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame for quite some time. It turned out we were probably pretty wrong. The Hall of Fame created a new category honoring "Contributors" - people that have influenced the game but not as players - and former Bills general manager Bill Polian is one of the two finalists.

Peter King wasn't on the committee to choose the contributor nominees but had this detailed breakout of how the list was to be narrowed to the final two - this year, Polian and longtime Raiders and Packers general manager Ron Wolf. Polian isn't competing against Wolf, and both can enter the Class of 2015 with an 80% yes vote from the Hall of Fame voting committee this February. The man himself wasn't expecting the honor.

Polian was the architect of the Buffalo Bills dynasty of the early 1990s, taking over as general manager in 1986 and assembling Hall of Fame talent through the NFL draft. After leaving the Bills, he built the Carolina Panthers as an expansion team into a Super Bowl contender in just two seasons before putting the stamp on his legacy and winning his only NFL Championship in Indianapolis with the Colts. He was inducted into the Bills Wall of Fame in 2012.

If he is successful, Polian will join fellow Super Bowl era Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Marv Levy, James Lofton, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, and Ralph Wilson, Jr. in addition to older Bills Bills Shaw, Joe DeLamielleure, and O.J. Simpson in Canton.