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Led by Steve Tasker, 7 former Buffalo Bills on list for 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration

The Buffalo Bills have a distinguished history of players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and in the early voting for the 2022 class, seven former Bills made the cut down to 122 nominees. Led by multi-time semifinalist Steve Tasker, the list includes players from the Super Bowl era through more recent Bills.

  • Guard Ruben Brown (1995-2003)
  • Linebacker Cornelius Bennett (1987-1995)
  • Fullback Larry Centers (2001-02)
  • Linebacker London Fletcher (2002-06)
  • Linebacker Takeo Spikes (2003-06)
  • Special teams Steve Tasker (1986-97)
  • Cornerback Troy Vincent (2004-05)

Bennett and Tasker made the cut to become semifinalists a year ago, but did not advance to become finalists. Tasker was a semifinalist in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2020 but hasn’t been able to make the final cuts.

Brown was never a first-team All-Pro but made nine Pro Bowls in his career (eight with Buffalo) and is a member of the Bills’ 50th Anniversary Team.

For Bennett, he’s not even on the Bills’ Wall of Fame due to sexual assault and harassment allegations. Even so, he probably stands the best chance of making the Hall of Fame of any player on this list. He’s was a first-team All-Pro three times, a former top-2 NFL Draft pick, the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1988, went to the Pro Bowl five times, and is a member of the 1990s All-Decade second team where all three of the first-team linebackers are now in the Hall of Fame. He’s a member of the Bills’ 50th Anniversary Team. He also has 200 NFL starts on his resume.

Centers made his name before coming to Buffalo, but the receiving fullback was a three-time Pro Bowl player and once named All-Pro at the fullback position. His final Pro Bowl came during his first season with the Bills.

A four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro (all after his time with the Bills), Fletcher signed with the Bills in 2002 as a big free-agent addition and stayed for five years making a name for himself. His time in Washington was when the tackling machine exploded into an impact player.

Takeo Spikes could have had such a more remarkable career if not derailed by an Achilles injury in 2005. While he was solid after the injury, he lost his big play explosiveness but still carved out a successful final seven years. He was an All-Pro with the Bills in 2004 and made the Pro Bowl twice, both times in Buffalo. The injury happened partway into the year after his All-Pro season. Who knows how great he could have been.

A seven-time Pro Bowler and seven-time PFWA All-Pro, Tasker has the most accolades of anyone on the Bills’ list. He created the position of a special teams ace and was instrumental in the Bills’ success in the early 1990s. He’s on the Bills’ Wall of Fame and was a member of the 50th Anniversary Team.

Vincent made his mark with the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles as a cornerback. He transitioned to Buffalo as a safety and played three years with the Bills. He won the Bart Starr Award for character and leadership in 2005. Prior to coming to Buffalo he was an All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler, and led the league in interceptions in 1999.

(Former Bills receiver Anquan Boldin is on the list but he never played a game for the team. He retired in August of 2017 during the preseason.)

The list of modern-era nominees will be cut to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in January. Five of them will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next summer. In addition to the 15 modern-era finalists, senior finalist candidate Cliff Branch, contributor finalist candidate Art McNally, and coach finalist candidate Dick Vermeil will be given a yes or no vote.