The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 18 finalists for induction later this summer, including former Atlanta Falcons kicker Morten Andersen. He played 25 seasons in the NFL, appearing in the most games (382) ever by any player in league history. Included in that distinguished run, Andersen played eight seasons with the Falcons in two separate stints from 1995-2000 and 2006-07.
Andersen is among 15 “modern-era” finalists, among whom up to five will be selected later this month during the NFL Honors Awards ceremony on January 31 to be officially enshrined in Canton in August.
Andersen is the NFL’s all-time leader in field goals made (565), field-goal attempts (709) and points scored (2,544). He ranks second only behind Hall of Famer George Blanda in extra points made (849) and attempts (859). Andersen also tops the Falcons all-time lists in all five categories. He was named to two All-Decade teams (1980s and 1990s), was voted to seven Pro Bowls and voted three times as a first-team All-Pro.
Andersen began his NFL career in 1982 with the New Orleans Saints. He later signed with the Falcons in 1995 after 13 seasons with the Saints. After his first stint with the Falcons, he played with the New York Giants (2001), Kansas City Chiefs (2002-03) and Minnesota Vikings (2004). He did not play in 2005, but was brought back by the Falcons in 2006 due to the struggles of punter Michael Koenen, who was attempting to handle both kicking and punting duties. Andersen was brought back again by the Falcons in 2007 after early-season struggles of kicker Matt Prater. Andersen subsequently retired in 2008.
Former Falcons offensive tackle Mike Kenn was one of 26 earlier semifinalists, but was not named among the 18 finalists. Kenn played left tackle for the Falcons from 1978-94, appearing in and starting a team record 251 games and earned five trips to the Pro Bowl.