Quarterbacks Dan Marino and Steve Young and wide receiver Michael Irvin are among nine first-time nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue also is among the 89 nominees on the preliminary ballot.
Marino, who holds the career records for yards passing, completions and touchdown passes, spent his entire 16-season career with the Miami Dolphins. Young, who began his career in the USFL, played first in the NFL for Tampa Bay, then starred with San Francisco, setting a record for touchdown passes in a Super Bowl with six in the 1995 game.
Irvin starred for the Dallas teams that won three Super Bowls in four seasons in the 1990s.
Other first-time nominees include Dan Reeves, who coached Denver to three Super Bowls and Atlanta to another; guard Nate Newton, who played with Irvin on the Dallas Super Bowl teams; defensive lineman Charles Haley, who was on Super Bowl winners with both San Francisco and Dallas; the late Derrick Thomas, who starred at linebacker for Kansas City; Kevin Greene, a pass-rushing star with several teams; and safety Steve Atwater, who starred for Denver in the '80s and '90s.
The list of 89 will be narrowed first to 25 semifinalists and then to 13 finalists. The 13 finalists will be joined by Bennie Friedman and Fritz Pollard, who were chosen last summer as the nominees of the old-timers committee.
A maximum of six can be elected in final voting on Feb. 5. Inductions are next summer.
DEFENSIVE END HURT: Chicago Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye has a small tear in the ligament of his right ankle and won't play Sunday against Tampa Bay. Ogunleye, the sacks leader in the AFC last season with 15, was injured in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to Washington when Redskins running back Clinton Portis stepped on his ankle.
COORDINATOR EXTENDS: Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray signed a contract extension with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday. Terms were not available, but Gray was entering the final year of his contract. Gray is in his fourth season in Buffalo, and coached a unit bolstered by several high-profile free agent additions to finish second in the NFL in fewest yards allowed last season. That was a significant improvement following his first two seasons in which the Bills defense finished 21st in 2001 and 15th in 2002.