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Seven Former Chiefs are Preliminary Hall of Fame Nominees

Name Position Years/Team(s)
Bobby Beathard Administrator 1966-1967 Kansas City Chiefs, 1968-1971 Atlanta Falcons, 1972-1977 Miami Dolphins, 1978-1988 Washington Redskins, 1990-1999 San Diego Chargers
Rich Gannon QB 1987-1992 Minnesota Vikings, 1993 Washington Redskins, 1995-1998 Kansas City Chiefs, 1999-2004 Oakland Raiders
Albert Lewis CB 1983-1993 Kansas City Chiefs, 1994-1998 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders
Nick Lowery K 1978 New England Patriots, 1980-1993 Kansas City Chiefs, 1994-1996 New York Jets
Leslie O'Neal DE 1986, 1988-1995 San Diego Chargers, 1996-1997 St. Louis Rams, 1998-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
Michael Dean Perry DT/DE 1988-1994 Cleveland Browns, 1995-1997 Denver Broncos, 1997 Kansas City Chiefs
Mike Pruitt RB 1976-1984 Cleveland Browns, 1985 Buffalo Bills, 1985-1986 Kansas City Chiefs

Seven former players and one scout are on the NFL Hall of Fame's preliminary nominee list of 131 players.

Hall of Fame selectors will chose 25 semifinalists by Nov. 27, and 15 finalists by Jan. 7. Voting will take place Feb. 6, the day before the Super Bowl.

The full list of nominees is here and I've put together a little more info on each of these guys after the jump. Enjoy.

Bobby Beathard

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Bobby Beathard is on this Hall of Fame nominee list not for his time as a scout with the Kansas City Chiefs but as general manager for the Redskins (1978-1989) and Chargers (1990-2000).

As you can imagine, there isn't exactly a lot of info out there on a scout from the mid-1960s. Before Beathard became a GM for the first time, he was a scout with the Falcons and then the director of player personnel for the Dolphins in the 1970s.

Rich Gannon

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We all know the story of QB Rich Gannon pretty well. After being selected in the fourth round of the 1987 NFL draft by the New England Patriots, Gannon was quickly traded to the Vikings because the Pats wanted him to play defensive back.

Gannon spent six seasons in Minnesota, only playing in 7 games in his first three seasons. He took on a starting role there from 1990 to 1992, going 19-16.

Gannon was released in 1993 and played in three games that season for the Redskins before sitting out the 1994 season to recoup from rotator cuff surgery. He would spend the 1995-1998 seasons in Kansas City.

As a Chief, Gannon was Steve Bono's back up for two years before stepping in for an injured Elvis Grbac in 1997. Gannon went 5-1 in replacement duty but was ultimately left out of the Chiefs' 1997 playoff game, which Grbac started and lost.

Gannon spent his final six seasons as an Oakland Raider, going to the Pro Bowl in his first four seasons there and making first team All-Pro in 2000 and 2002. Oh yeah, and he took the Raiders too a Super Bowl in 2002, from which they have never recovered.

Albert Lewis

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via www.kcchiefs.com

Another former Chief/Raider, Albert Lewis spent his first ten NFL seasons in Kansas City. He was a third round pick out of Grambling and was elected to the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1997.

As a Chief, Lewis started 128 of the 150 games he played in. He had 38 interceptions and 7 forced fumbles. He made the Pro Bowl from 1987 to 1990, going All-Pro in 1989 and 1990.

Lewis spent his final four NFL seasons in Oakland and produced significantly fewer numbers.

Nick Lowery

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The second greatest kicker in Kansas City Chiefs history, Nick Lowery was a clutch kicker who never made you worry about the kicking game.

For his career in KC, Lowery was 329/410 field goals for an impressive 80.2% average. He made the Pro Bowl three times as a Chief and was named 1st team All Pro twice. His top completion percentages in his career were 91.9% (1990), 91.7% (1993) and 88.9% (1985). That 1990 season was Lowery's best. In addition to his fantastic field goal percentage, he made the most field goals of any season in his career and he was named to the Pro Bowl and 1st team All Pro.

Wikipedia has the run down on Lowery's career accomplishments:

  • most field goals all-time (384)
  • most accurate all-time (from 1984-1997 Lowery held the all-time accuracy mark for 10 of those 12 years)
  • most 50 yard field goals
  • most games with 2 or more 50 yarders
  • Lowery also held the record for best PAT % since the goal posts were moved back 10 yards and PAT's became 20 yarders, not 10 yarders.
  • Lowery received the NFL Players Association's most prestigious humanitarian award, the Byron Whizzer White Award, in 1993.
  • Lowery kicked more than 15 game-winners during his career, including in 2 playoff games vs. the Raiders in 1992 and Steelers in 1994, and also kicked the game-winning points in all 3 Pro Bowls in 1982, 1991 and 1993.
  • 2007 NFL Hall of Fame nominee

Leslie O'Neal

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You know Leslie O'Neal best as a long-time defensive end for the San Diego Chargers. O'Neal spent nine seasons in San Diego, starting 125 out of 133 games and racking up 105 sacks.

After two seasons in St. Louis, O'Neal finished his career in Kansas City. He played in 32 games, starting 23 of them at defensive end. He had ten sacks as a Chief.

Michael Dean Perry

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Perry was a dominant defensive tackle for the Browns during his first seven NFL seasons. Perry is a six-time Pro Bowler and two time first team All-Pro.

Wikipedia has an interesting story from his Cleveland days:

Michael Dean Perry was one of the more televised players in Cleveland during his stay with the Browns. He also at one time had a McDonald's sandwich named in his honor. The sandwich was named the "MDP". The "MDP" was available only in the Metro Cleveland area. The sandwich at the time was larger than any offering made by McDonald's. It consisted of mostly the same ingredients as Big Mac, but it boasted three meat patties instead of the usual two and was topped with bacon. Currently Perry owns and operates a Subway sandwich store in Charlotte, NC.

Which makes sense, because he's the younger brother of William "The Refrigerator" Perry.

Perry only played in one game as a Chief, registering one tackle.

Mike Pruitt

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via www.bestsportsphotos.com

Pruitt is another long-time Cleveland Brown who finished his career in Kansas City. He spent nine seasons in Cleveland, one in Buffalo before coming to KC for his final NFL seasons.

In two years as a Chief, Pruitt started 22 of 24 games. He He rushed 244 times for 814 yards and four touchdowns.

Make sure you vote in our poll. How many of these players will make the first cut to 25 in November?