NFC West Reporter
One of the greatest shutouts in NFL history and possibly the greatest returning player to ever play the game are among the 15 finalists selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023, a-t – it was announced on Wednesday.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis and quick-return man Devin Hester headline a roster that includes three fellow safe defensive backs Darren Woodson and cornerbacks Ronde Barber and Albert Lewis.
Other defensive players on the Golden Jacket shortlist are rushers DeMarcus Ware, Dwight Freeney and Jared Allen, as well as linebackers Patrick Willis and Zach Thomas.
Receivers Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson made the cut. Joining them are offensive lineman Willie Anderson and Joe Thomas.
Freeney, Revis and Thomas are finalists in their first year of eligibility, while Johnson, Allen, Hester and Ware are in their second year.
Revis was a four-time All-Pro First-Team selection and six-time Pro Bowl selection during his 11 NFL seasons, including eight with the New York Jets. He also won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in the 2014 season.
Hester played 11 seasons in the NFL, including eight with the Chicago Bears. He holds the NFL record for most returns for a touchdown on special teams with 20 (14 punts, five kickoffs, one field goal miss).
Selected in the second round of the 2006 Draft in Miami, Hester was voted to three Pro Bowls, won 13 Special Teams Player of the Week awards and was voted to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
Players must have participated as an active NFL player for five consecutive seasons to be considered and nominated for election to the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
2023 MODERN ERA PLAYERS FINALIST CLASS
- Jared Allen
- Willie Anderson
- Chubby Barber
- Dwight Freeney
- Devin Hester
- Torry Holt
- Andre Johnson
- Albert Lewis
- Darelle Revis
- Joe Thomas
- Zach Thomas
- By Marcus Ware
- Reggie Wayne
- Patrick Willis
- Darren Woodson
In addition to the modern player finalists, Don Coryell was nominated by the coach/contributor committee and three players were nominated by the senior committee: linebacker Chuck Howley, defensive tackle Joe Klecko and quarterback Ken Riley.
The final vote for the Pro Football Hall of Fame will take place later this month by the 49-person selection committee ahead of Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona. The class will be announced live on the “NFL Honors” telecast scheduled for February 9.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2023 will be dedicated on August 5 in Guangzhou.
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Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.
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