Former Buffalo Bills greats Steve Tasker and Cornelius Bennett have been named as 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket Semifinalists.
The list, which also includes former NFL greats like Alan Faneca, Calvin Johnson, Charles Woodson, Peyton Manning, Ronde Barber, and others, was released on Tuesday.
This is Tasker’s eighth time being named a semifinalist and Bennett is joining him for the very first time of his post-NFL career. Of the 25 players listed, Tasker is the only semifinalist to be listed in the “special teams” category. He was also named a semifinalist in the last two years of voting and was also named in 2004, 2008-2010, 2012-13.
The list of 25 former NFL players will be cut down to 15, then 10, and a class of five will be named as the 2021 class. The 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will be enshrined on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021.
Tasker and Bennett could join other Bills legends like Jimy Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Ralph Wilson, Marv Levy, Andre Reed, and several others if they receive the special honor to be enshrined next August.
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A Special Teams Specialist
Tasker had quite the career in Buffalo.
He spent 12 years in Buffalo after the Bills claimed him off waivers during the 1986 season. A year later, which was just his third year in the league, Tasker earned his first pro bowl nomination as he went on to become one of the best special teams players in the game.
He was nominated to the pro bowl six straight times from 1990-95 and helped the Bills reach four straight Super Bowls. He is actually the only special teams player to win Pro Bowl MVP, which he did in 1992.
The wide receiver from Northwestern played 13 years in the NFL and recorded over 779 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Whether he makes it into the Hall of Fame or not, Tasker will go down as one of the best Bills players in history.
In July, CBSsports analyst Bryan DeArdo wrote an article about every NFL team’s best player who isn’t in the Hall of Fame and DeArdo named Tasker as his choice for the Bills.
Bennett was also an honorable mention for DeArdo.
A Defensive Stud
For nine years, Cornelius Bennett was a cornerstone of a strong Buffalo Bills defense. He tallied over 100 tackles during four of his nine seasons in Buffalo and recorded a career-high 107 in 1991. He also tallied nine sacks that season which was just a .5 sack away from tying his career-high he set in just his second-year in the league.
Alongside several other Bills, legends like Bruce Smith, Bennett and the Bills defense helped Buffalo reach four straight Super Bowls. He was named to five pro bowls during his career and was also selected as a first-team All-Pro during his second season in the league.
He spent his final five years in the league between Atlanta and Indianapolis, but his prime years were spent in Buffalo where he recorded 52.5 sacks. He also recovered 19 fumbles during his time in Buffalo and forced 22.
Alongside Tasker, he’s another Bill who’s deserving of a Hall of Fame enshrinement.