28 Modern Era Players Named Semifinalists for Class of 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 5 eligible first-year candidates on the list cut out of 129 candidates

CANTON, OHIO – Five eligible first-year inductees are among 28 semifinalists of modern-era players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

The list of nominees for induction into the Hall of Fame early next year also includes 19 players who were semifinalists for the class of 2022.

Modern era players who progress to the semis in their first year of eligibility are offensive linemen Jahri Evans And Joe Thomas, defensive lineman Dwight Freeney, linebacker James Harrison and defensive back Darrell Revis. Last played in the 2017 season.

To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an inductee must not have participated as an active player for five consecutive seasons.

Enrico Elardo, retiring after the 1998 season, he reached the semi-final stage for the first time. London Fletcher she is also a first-time semifinalist; she retired after the 2013 season. Albert Lewis, semi-finalist in 2013, who also retired in 1998, progressed to this stage for the second time. Both Ellard and Lewis are in their last year of eligibility as modern era players.

The 28 semifinalists will be narrowed down again – to 15 finalists – before the final voting process for the Class of 2023.

Modern Era Players Semifinalist Class of 2023

Below is the list of 2023 Modern Era Player Semifinalists, including their positions, years, and squads. Also listed are the number of times and years the inductee has been named a Semifinalist since this reduction vote was added to the Hall of Fame bylaws in 2004. (Note: The Statute states that the number of Semi-finalists must be 25 – or more if players tie for 25th position.)

  • Eric Allen, CB – Philadelphia Eagles 1988-1994, New Orleans Saints 1995-97, Oakland Raiders 1998-2001 | (Times as semi-finalist: 3 – 2021-23)
  • Jared Allen, DE – Kansas City Chiefs 2004-07, Minnesota Vikings 2008-2013, Chicago Bears 2014-15, Carolina Panthers 2015 | (Times as semi-finalist: 3 – 2021-23)
  • William Anderson, T – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as semi-finalist: 3 – 2021-23)
  • round barber, CB/S – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1997-2012 | (Times as semi-finalist: 6 – 2018-2023)
  • Anquan Boldin, WRs – Arizona Cardinals 2003-09, Baltimore Ravens 2010-12, San Francisco 49ers 2013-15, Detroit Lions 2016 | (Times as semi-finalist: 2 – 2022-23)
  • Enrico Elardo, WRs – Los Angeles Rams 1983-1993, Washington Redskins 1994-98, New England Patriots 1998 | (Times as semi-finalist: 1 – 2023)
  • Jahri Evans, G – New Orleans Saints 2006-2016, Green Bay Packers 2017 | (Times as semi-finalist: 1 – 2023)
  • Fletcher of London, LB – 1998-2001 St. Louis Rams, 2002-06 Buffalo Bills, 2007-2013 Washington Redskins | (Times as semi-finalist: 1 – 2023)
  • Dwight Freeney, DE – Indianapolis Colts 2002-2012, San Diego Chargers 2013-14, Arizona Cardinals 2015, Atlanta Falcons 2016, Seattle Seahawks 2017, Detroit Lions 2017 | (Times as semi-finalist: 1 – 2023)
  • James Harrison, LB – 2002-2012, Pittsburgh Steelers 2014-17, Cincinnati Bengals 2013, New England Patriots 2017 | (Times as semi-finalist: 1 – 2023)
  • Rodney Harrison, S – San Diego Chargers 1994-2002, New England Patriots 2003-08 | (Times as semi-finalist: 2 – 2021, 2023)
  • Devin Hester, PR/KR/WR – Chicago Bears 2006-2013, Atlanta Falcons 2014-15, Baltimore Ravens 2016 | (Times as semi-finalist: 2 – 2022-23)
  • Torry Holt, WRs – St. Louis Rams 1999-2008, Jacksonville Jaguars 2009 | (Times as semi-finalist: 9 – 2015-2023)
  • Andre Johnson, WRs – Houston Texans 2003-2014, Indianapolis Colts 2015, Tennessee Titans 2016 | (Times as semi-finalist: 2 – 2022-23)
  • Albert Lewis, CB – Kansas City Chiefs 1983-1993, Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders 1994-98 | (Times as semi-finalist: 2 – 2013, 2023)
  • Roberto Mathis, DE/LB – Indianapolis Colts 2003-2016 | (Times as semi-finalist: 2 – 2022-23)
  • Darrelle Revis, CB – 2007-2012, 2015-16 New York Jets, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2014 New England Patriots, 2017 Kansas City Chiefs | (Times as semi-finalist: 1 – 2023)
  • Steve Smith Senior, WRs–Carolina Panthers 2001-2013, Baltimore Ravens 2014-16 | (Times as semi-finalist: 2 – 2022-23)
  • Frederick Taylor, RB – Jacksonville Jaguars 1998-2008, New England Patriots 2009-2010 | (Times as semi-finalist: 4 – 2020-23)
  • Joe Thomas, T–Cleveland Browns 2007-2017 | (Times as semi-finalist: 1 – 2023)
  • Zach Thomas, LB – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as semi-finalist: 5 – 2019-2023)
  • Hines Ward, WR–Pittsburgh Steelers 1998-2011 | (Times as semi-finalist: 7 – 2017-2023)
  • DeMarcus Ware, LB/DE – Dallas Cowboys 2005-2013, Denver Broncos 2014-16 | (Times as semi-finalist: 2 – 2022-23)
  • Ricky Watters, RB – San Francisco 49ers 1992-94, Philadelphia Eagles 1995-97, Seattle Seahawks 1998-2001 | (Semifinalist times: 3 – 2020, 2022-23)
  • Reggie Wayne, WR–Indianapolis Colts 2001-2014 | (Times as semi-finalist: 4 – 2020-23)
  • Vince Wilfork, DT – New England Patriots 2004-2014, Houston Texans 2015-16 | (Times as semi-finalist: 2 – 2022-23)
  • Patrick Willis, LB–San Francisco 49ers 2007-2014 | (Times as semi-finalist: 4 – 2020-23)
  • Darren Woodson, S – Dallas Cowboys 1992-2003 | (Semifinalist times: 7 – 2015, 2017, 2019-2023)

The semifinalist roster, announced live on the NFL Network Tuesday, was narrowed from an initial pool of 129 candidates announced in September. It marks the most semi-finalists since the Hall adopted the process of narrowing the list of candidates to 25 (plus ties) in 2004.

What is the next selection process?

The next step in the selection process comes when the semi-finalists are whittled down to 15 modern-era player finalists. The list rises to 19 finalists with the inclusion of nominees recommended by the Hall of Fame Coaches/Contributors Committee, Don Coryell; and the Elderly Committee, Chuck Howley, Joe Kleko And And Riley.

The Hall of Fame’s 49-person selection committee will select the class of 2023 before Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona. The class will be announced live on the “NFL Honors” telecast scheduled for 9:00 PM ET on February 9. While there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the selection committee’s bylaws require four to nine new members to be selected.

Coach/Contributor and Senior Finalists are voted “yes” or “no” for election at the annual selection meeting and must receive at least 80% Committee support to be elected. Modern era player finishers will be cut throughout the match from 15 to 10, then 10 to five. The remaining five finalists will be voted on individually, “yes” or “no” and must receive the same 80% pass vote as the coach/aid and senior finalists to gain election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Find out more here:

The 2023 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be enshrined this August (expected date: August 5) in Canton as part of 2023 Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls. Other events during the week of the festivities include the Hall of Fame game (teams to be determined) and the Golden Jacket dinner. For more information, visit https://www.profootballhof.com/enshrinement/.

The selection process aligns with the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s important mission to “honour the greatest in the game, preserve its history, promote its values, and celebrate excellence together.”

Semi-finalist analysis of modern era players

OFFENSE – 12

RB (2): Fred Taylor, Ricky Watters

WR (7): Anquan Boldin, Henry Ellard, Torry Holt, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith Sr., Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne

OL (3): Willie Anderson, Jahri Evans, Joe Thomas
 

DEFENSE – 15

DB(6): Eric Allen, Ronde Barber, Rodney Harrison, Albert Lewis, Darrelle Revis, Darren Woodson

LB (5): London Fletcher, James Harrison, Zach Thomas, DeMarcus Ware (also DE), Patrick Willis

DL (4): Jared Allen, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis (also LB), Vince Wilfork
 

SPECIAL TEAMS – 1

Devin Hester (also WR)

Hall of Fame fan vote presented by Ford

The annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Vote presented by Ford has continued since its launch in September. Fans can vote as often as they like at www.profootballhof.com/fanvote to predict the five modern era players who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2023.

Fans who vote automatically become eligible for several raffle prizes, including a Grand Prix trip for two (2) to Enshrinement Week 2023 Powered by Johnson Controls in Canton.

This marks the 12th consecutive year that Ford, the official automobile of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has invited fans to predict the outcome of the Hall of Fame’s annual class. (Note: The outcome of the fan vote does not affect any player’s chances of being elected.)

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