Randy Gradishar, Steve McMichael and Art Powell are one step closer to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Seniors Committee selected the three former players as finalists for the Class of 2024 on Tuesday.
Each would need at least 80 percent approval when the full 50-person selection committee meets early next year in order to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio.
They were selected from a group of 12 candidates.
"Every one of the individual presentations for the 12 candidates by the members of the Seniors Committee participating Tuesday was outstanding, truly creating the possibility that each one could have reached the position of finalist," Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a news release Wednesday.
"I applaud the committee for the thorough discussion and consideration for all 12. The depth of the Seniors pool came on full display once again."
Gradishar, 71, played his entire 10-year career with the Denver Broncos (1974-83). The seven-time Pro Bowl and two-time All-Pro linebacker was a first-round pick in 1974 and the Defensive Player of the Year in 1978, anchoring Denver's "Orange Crush" defense.
McMichael, 63, played defensive tackle for 15 seasons with the New England Patriots (1980), Chicago Bears (1981-93) and Green Bay Packers (1994). The two-time Pro Bowl and two-time All-Pro selection won Super Bowl XX with the fabled 1985 Bears.
Powell, who died in 2015 at age 78, played in the CFL and entered the NFL as a defensive back before thriving as a receiver with the AFL's New York Titans (1960-62) and Oakland Raiders (1963-66). He racked up 8,046 receiving yards and 81 TDs in 117 games.
The other seniors who were under consideration were Ken Anderson, Maxie Baughan, Roger Craig, Joe Jacoby, Albert Lewis, Eddie Meador, Sterling Sharpe, Otis Taylor and Al Wistert.
—Field Level Media