2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists: 2 players make the list with St. Louis ties

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Both Jerome Bettis and Aeneas Williams have been named as two of the 17 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists for the class of 2013, and both have ties to St. Louis.

The 17 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2013 have been announced, and there are two players with ties to the St. Louis area. Those two players are running back Jerome Bettis and defensive back Aeneas Williams, who both played for the St. Louis Rams at one point in their careers.

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Bettis was drafted by the Rams in the first round in 1993 when they were still in Los Angeles. The Rams moved to St. Louis in Bettis' final year with the team before he was traded to the Steelers along with a third-round pick in 1996, in exchange for a second-round pick in '96 and a fourth-round pick in the '97 draft. Bettis finished his career with six Pro Bowl appearances, was a three-time All Pro, was on the Steelers team that won Super Bowl XL, was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2001 and is the league's sixth-leading rusher of all time with 13,662 career yards.

Unlike Bettis, Williams finished his career in St. Louis with the Rams. He was drafted by the Cardinals in the third round in 1991. He played for the Cardinals through the 2000 season and was traded to the Rams before the 2001 season in exchange for second- and fourth-round picks. He played with the Rams until he retired following the 2004 season. Williams finished his career as an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, twice with the Rams, was an All Pro four times (once with the Rams), won the Bart Starr Man of the Year Award in 1999 and was named to the St. Louis Rams' 10th Anniversary Team.

If elected into the Hall of Fame, Bettis and Williams will join several players that played for the Rams, both when they were in St. Louis and Los Angeles, including running back Marshall Faulk, Jackie Slater, Eric Dickerson and Dick "Night Train" Lane.

Of course, all players nominated won't make it into the Hall of Fame this year, but just being a finalist is a major honor.

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