Morten Andersen, a member of the Saints Ring of Honor and Hall of Fame, and Dome Patrol linebacker Sam Mills are two of the nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017, the hall announced Wednesday evening.
Andersen made it to the final voting in 2016. Ninety-four players and coaches were announced as nominees Wednesday. Andersen and Mills are the only on the list who played the majority of their career with the New Orleans Saints.
The nominees will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November and from there to 15 finalists in January. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will make the final selections on the eve of Super Bowl LI.
A native of Copenhagen, Denmark, Andersen, 6 feet 2, 218 pounds, was drafted in the fourth round by the Saints in 1982 out of Michigan State and spent 13 years in New Orleans (1982-94). He was named to six Pro Bowls as a member of the Saints (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1992). Only quarterback Drew Brees (eight) and lineman Willie Roaf (seven) have been selected to the Pro Bowl more often as Saints. Anderson led the Saints in scoring in 12 of his 13 seasons in New Orleans. He is the franchise’s leader in games played (196), field goals (302), PATs (412) and scoring (1,318 points). Anderson made 77.6 percent of his field goal attempts (302 of 389) and scored at least 100 points nine times with New Orleans.
Overall in a 25-year career with five teams through the 2007 season, Andersen appeared in 382 games and is the NFL record holder for games played, points (2,544) and field goals (565). Overall, he converted 565-of-709 field goal attempts (79.7 percent) and 849-of-859 extra point attempts. Andersen’s 40 field goals of 50-plus yards were the most in NFL history at the time of his retirement.
Andersen was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in both 2014 and 2015 and a semifinalist in his first year of eligibility in 2013. He received Associated Press first-team All-Pro recognition five times, four as a Saint, including twice with New Orleans in 1986 and 1987 as a first-team selection. In recognition of being one of the top kickers, he was a first-team member of both the 1980s and 1990s All-Decade Teams, as selected by members of the Hall of Fame selection committee. Andersen is also a member of the Saints Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
A member of the USFL’s All-Time Team, Mills came to New Orleans in 1986 from the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars. In nine seasons with the Saints, Mills started 125 games and appeared in 133 overall, with his 133 games played ranking 23rd all-time on the club’s all-time games played list. He totaled 10.5 sacks, 934 tackles, four interceptions, six forced fumbles and 17 fumble recoveries while in a Saints uniform. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times and was a two-time All-Pro. He joined with Rickey Jackson, Vaughan Johnson and Pat Swilling to form the Dome Patrol, the greatest collection of linebackers in NFL history.