Aeneas Williams, Morten Andersen among Hall of Fame finalists

Kicker Morten Andersen
Kicker Morten Andersen

Former Southern University All-American cornerback Aeneas Williams and former Saints All-Pro kicker Morten Andersen are finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014.

Williams and Andersen were among 15 modern-era finalists announced by the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday night from a list of 25 semifinalists that were revealed in November.

The final 15 comes from an original nominations list of 126 former players, coaches, administrators and contributors that kicked off the process last fall.

Williams, Andersen and the other 13 modern-day finalists will join two senior nominees to be considered by a 43-person Hall of Fame Selection Committee that’ll meet in New York City on Feb. 1, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII, to vote on the Class of 2014.

Williams played cornerback and safety for the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams during a 14-year NFL career, while Andersen, who was with the Saints from 1982-94, played a total of 25 seasons and is the league’s all-time scoring leader.

This is the third consecutive year that Williams, a New Orleans native, has been a finalist. He was a semifinalist in 2010 and ’11.

Williams was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1990s while with the Cardinals from 1991-2000 before playing with the Rams from 2001-04.

Williams, who turns 46 on Jan. 29, was a three-time All-Pro pick who was voted to eight Pro Bowls.

An effective shutdown cornerback for 12 seasons before switching to safety for his final two years, he had 55 career interceptions — nine of which he returned for touchdowns. He also returned three fumbles for scores.

Williams recorded an interception in every season but his last and had five or more in a season six times.

He shared the NFL record for longest fumble return when he ran 104 yards for a score while with the Cardinals against the Washington Redskins on Nov. 5, 2000.

Andersen, 53, was a semifinalist last year in his first year of eligibility. He played in 385 games and was a five-time All-Pro who was elected to seven Pro Bowl games while playing for five teams. Andersen is the career leader in field goals and points for two franchises (the Saints and Atlanta Falcons).