Bobby Beathard named contributor finalist for 2018 Hall of Fame vote over Pat Bowlen

The 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class has its third candidate. On Friday, a day after Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile became the first two candidates, Bobby Beathard was named the contributor finalist for the 2018 class.

"There's nothing I love more than football," Beathard told the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "I feel like I've gone through life without a job and got paid for it."

During his front-office career, Beathard worked for the Chiefs (1966-67), Falcons (1968-71), Dolphins (1972-77), Redskins (1978-88), and Chargers (1990-99). He's best known for being the general manager of Washington, where he won two Super Bowls and built a team that went 105-63 in the regular season. As the Hall of Fame's announcement noted, Beathard was directly involved in four Super Bowls in all. His other two championships came during his time in Miami, where he served as the director of player personnel.

Beathard is also 49ers rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard's grandfather.

I'll let the Pro Football Hall of Fame explain how Beathard was selected:

The Contributors Committee is comprised of nine members of the overall selection committee. Through mail vote, the 2018 Contributor nominees were reduced to a list of 10 semifinalists. Then, on a rotating basis, five of the nine members of the committee met at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton to discuss each of the Contributors nominees and today selected Beathard. The Contributor category is for individuals who made outstanding contributions to professional football in capacities other than playing or coaching.

In order for Beathard to gain entrance into the Hall of Fame next summer, he'll need 80 percent of the 48-member Hall of Fame selection committee to vote in his favor. Fifteen modern-era finalists will eventually join Beathard, Kramer, and Brazile on the list of candidates. The vote will take place in February.

While Beathard is deserving, some have been critical of his selection because he was chosen over Broncos owner Pat Bowlen. Writing for 9News.com, Mike Klis alleged that there could've been some foul play involved:

The five-person contributor committee did give Bowlen strong consideration to the point he should be a lock next year, when two contributors are nominated for the Hall of Fame instead of just the one this year. But it appears Beathard was selected ahead of Bowlen this year for two primary reasons.

One, the contributor committee had nominated owners the two previous years in Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and Jerry Jones and they didn't want to make it three in a row.

And two, Charley Casserly, who served as Beathard's long-time assistant in Washington, was in the voting room as a contributor consultant. Imagine if Broncos president Joe Ellis were in the voting room as a consultant? Despite this overt case of Casserly conflict-of-interest, the committee submitted Beathard as its nominee.

As Klis noted, Bowlen should get into the Hall of Fame in the near future, but the concern is that Bowlen has been fighting Alzheimer's disease, which caused him to step down from his role as Broncos owner in July 2014.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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