NFL notebook: Martin, 4 linemen make Hall of Fame

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Feb. 4 2012 8:35 p.m. MST

Running back Curtis Martin and four linemen were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, along with one senior committee choice.

Martin is the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history. He is joined by Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Willie Roaf, Dermontti Dawson, and senior selection Jack Butler.

Jerome Bettis, Cris Carter and Bill Parcells were among the finalist who didn't make it.

A panel of 44 media members voted. The inductions are in early August in Canton, Ohio.

Guard Will Shields didn't get in — the only first-year eligible player to make the 15-man finals. Shields started all but one of the 224 games in his 14 seasons in Kansas City.

Bettis also fell short. He was the 1993 Offensive Rookie of the Year with the Rams who retired in 2006 after winning his only Super Bowl with the Steelers. He is the NFL's No. 5 career rusher.

Parcells coached the Giants to Super Bowl titles in the 1987 and 1991 games and also lost the 1997 Super Bowl with New England. He coached the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys, too.

Carter is the No. 4 career receiver with 1,101 in 16 seasons with three teams.

Others not voted in were receivers Tim Brown and Andre Reed, defensive end/linebackers Kevin Greene and Charles Haley, defensive back Aeneas Williams, and former 49ers owner Ed DeBartolo Jr.

The other senior finalist, guard Dick Stanfel, was not chosen, either.

RODGERS NAMED MVP: The best quarterbacks bring fans out of their seats. Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning did exactly that Saturday night when the NFL Most Valuable Player accepted the trophy from the only four-time winner of the award.

The Green Bay quarterback won the 2011 Associated Press award in a landslide. Manning, the hometown hero who didn't play a down this season because of neck surgery, handed it to him.

Manning was greeted with a standing ovation when he came on stage at the Murat Theatre during "NFL Honors," a primetime special on NBC. Moments later, the crowd was back on its feet for Rodgers.

"It means a lot to be recognized as a consistent player and contributing on my team," Rodgers said. "I think it's an award that relies on a player having the support of his teammates, obviously, guys blocking, guys running, guys catching, guys making plays. But I'm very honored to receive the award."

Speaking to Manning, who didn't miss a game for 13 seasons before 2011, Rodgers added: "We're all really excited to see you back on the field next year."

Rodgers earned 48 votes to two for New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. The Packers star is the first Green Bay player honored since Brett Favre concluded a run of three straight seasons as MVP in 1997.

Brees won Offensive Player of the Year for the second time.

Other winners included:

— Baltimore defensive end/linebacker Terrell Suggs, Defensive Player of the Year.

— San Francisco's rookie coach Jim Harbaugh, Coach of the Year.

— Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, Comeback Player of the Year.

The top two picks in last April's draft took the rookie awards: Carolina QB Cam Newton and Denver linebacker Von Miller.

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