15 finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame announced

15 finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame announced:

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 15 finalists for the class of 2022 this week.

Here is the full list:

  • Jared Allen, Defensive End – 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers
  • Willie Anderson, Offensive Tackle – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens
  • Ronde Barber, Cornerback/Safety – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Tony Boselli, Offensive Tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve)
  • LeRoy Butler, Safety – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers
  • Devin Hester, Punt Returner/Kick Returner/Wide Receiver – 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens
  • Torry Holt, Wide Receiver – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Andre Johnson, Wide Receiver – 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016 Tennessee Titans
  • Sam Mills, Linebacker – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers
  • Richard Seymour, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders
  • Zach Thomas, Linebacker – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys
  • DeMarcus Ware, Linebacker/Defensive End – 2005-2013 Dallas Cowboys, 2014-16 Denver Broncos
  • Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts
  • Patrick Willis, Linebacker – 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers
  • Bryant Young, Defensive Tackle/Defensive End – 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers

This group was broken down from an initial list of 123 nominees. It was reduced to 26 semifinalists on Nov. 24.

In addition, Dick Vermeil, Art McNally and Cliff Branch, the finalists in the Coach, Contributor and Senior categories, respectively, also are candidates for the Class of 2022.

The eventual inductees will be announced on Feb. 10 at the NFL Honors.

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Former Steeler Hines Ward among semi-finalists for HOF

Will this be the year Hines Ward finally gets the nod for the HOF?

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 26 modern-era semifinalists for the 2022 class of the hall of fame. This marks the sixth time former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has been nominated for the HOF.

Ward spent all 14 of his NFL seasons with the Steelers. After being a third-round pick out of Georgia back in 1998, Ward quickly became not only a fan favorite but one of the most dependable receivers in the league.

In his career, Ward has 1,000 career receptions. He is one of only 14 receivers in league history to eclipse that mark. Ward has 12,083 career receiving yards and 85 receiving touchdowns. He was named to the four Pro Bowls, named an All-Pro three times and was named a Super Bowl MVP once.

If we are being honest, getting Ward into the Hall of Fame is an uphill climb. The wide receiver position is so saturated and players with far more dynamic careers are still waiting on an opportunity to get in. Ward was steady and consistent but can you ever say Ward was ever the best receiver in the league in a given year?

Let us know in the comments if the sixth time is the charm for Ward.

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Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker retiring

After 8 years, David Baker is retiring as President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

The familiar knock will have a different tone going forward when former players learn they have made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

David Baker revealed on Saturday he will be leaving his position as President and Executive Director of the Canton, Oh, organization after 8 years.

According to the Hall of Fame release, Baker will continue to represent the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Ring of Excellence Ceremonies honoring members of the Centennial Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 at National Football League stadiums for the remainder of the presentation schedule as the retired President & Executive Director.

“As I approach the end of nearly eight years of service to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Baker said in a statement released by the Hall, “I have come to the conclusion that it is time for someone else to have the ‘best job in the world’ so I can still do a few more exciting things in my professional life while also returning home to our four children, 10 grandchildren and soon-to-be great grandson in Orange County, California, whom I’ve missed so much during my tenure at ‘The Most Inspiring Place on Earth.’ “

Jim Porter, the Hall of Fame’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, has been named President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

3 great moments from Steelers HOF HC Bill Cowher’s enshrinement speech

Here are few highlights from Bill Cowher’s Hall of Fame enshrinement speech.

When former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher thanked those who shaped him, he included both the Cleveland Browns and Philadephia Eagles organizations — the two teams Cowher played for before coaching.

With all of the Steelers fans in Canton, it was no surprise that a smattering of boos came over the crowd at the mere mention of the Cleveland Browns. “Oh, no, no, don’t go there. I have two kids that were born in Cleveland,” Cowher said with his signature smirk.

Besides the Browns boos, here are three great moments from Cowher’s Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement speech.

Tom Brady jokes about attending Peyton Manning’s Hall of Fame induction

Tom Brady jokes about attending Peyton Manning’s Hall of Fame induction:

Peyton Manning will have a familiar face at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday. Former rival and current Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will be in attendance.

Throughout Manning’s career, the two quarterbacks faced off in numerous AFC showdowns. Despite that, the two often displayed a friendship off the field which clearly still rings true with Brady showing his support this weekend.

Manning confirmed Brady will be there during the broadcast of the Hall of Fame preseason game on Thursday.

“Tom Brady is coming in, sitting in my section. I’m not sure how my Colts teammates will handle that,” Manning said. “But that means a lot that he’s taking the time.”

Brady has explained his pending appearance in Canton, Ohio. In the social media persona that Brady has dusted off since joining Twitter, Brady joked that he’s just going to make sure Manning doesn’t have second thoughts:

Brady, who is looking to defend his Super Bowl title from last season, might have a sliver of seriousness in the back of his mind.

Super Bowls? Brady has seven to Manning’s two. Head-to-head, Brady hold an 11-6 record vs. Manning as well.

But in the postseason season, Manning has the 3-2 edge…

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Troy Polamalu tests positive for COVID days before HOF induction

Troy Polamalu has tested positive for COVID-19 a week before his HOF induction

Legendary Pittsburgh Steeler DB Troy Polamalu is going to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH, next week.

Now, there is a question of whether he will be able to attend the ceremonies.

Polamalu took to Twitter on Friday and announced he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic postponing the Class of 2020 induction until this year, Polamalu would already be enshrined.

Polamalu played 12 seasons as a strong safety with the Steelers from 2003-2014.

The Class of 2020 will be inducted on Aug. 7 with the Class of 2021 following on Aug. 8.

“We are disappointed for Troy right now and pray for his quick recovery with no complications,” David Baker, President & CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said in a press release. “We’ll work with him to make sure he’s honored as an enshrinee the way he should be — and that’s mindful of others in the Centennial Class, fans and everyone else in attendance. He had an incredible football career and will have an equally incredible career as a Hall of Famer.”

Giants’ George Young and 8 other Hall of Famers to be honored with TV special

Late New York Giants general manager George Young will honored during 2021 NFL draft weekend.

Former New York Giants general manager George Young and eight other new members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will receive special recognition with a TV program on the weekend of the NFL draft.

From the PFHOF:

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will celebrate the careers and contributions of nine men – members of either the Centennial Class of 2020 or the Class of 2021 – during a 90-minute special that will air Saturday, May 1 on NFL Network and Tuesday, May 4 on ESPN2.

Those to be honored posthumously during “Hall of Famer Forever: Enshrinement Special” are Centennial Class of 2020 members Bobby Dillon, Winston Hill, Alex Karras, Steve Sabol, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie, Ed Sprinkle and George Young, as well as Bill Nunn from the Class of 2021.

Dillon, Hill, Karras, Nunn, Sabol, Slater, Speedie, Sprinkle and Young also will be recognized this summer during their respective Enshrinements – the Centennial Class of 2020 on Saturday, Aug. 7 and the Class of 2021 on Sunday, Aug. 8.

Young was the Giants’ general manager from 1979-1997, leading them out of the “wilderness era” to two Super Bowl championships and changing the culture of the franchise.

Young was named NFL Executive of the Year five times and also won a Super Bowl and an NFL championship as an assistant coach with the Baltimore Colts from 1968-1974.

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Deion Sanders leads Jackson State to 53-0 win in coaching debut

Deion Sanders led Jackson State to a 53-0 victory in front of former Cowboys teammate Troy Aikman

As head-coaching debuts go, Deion Sanders and Jackson State could not have found a softer opponent, which led to a predictably successful result.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back led the Tigers against NAIA school Edward Waters on Sunday at Mississippi Veteran Memorial Stadium. Jackson State went on to a 53-0 victory over a school that was coming off a 1-10 season.

Sanders had an unexpected visitor in another Hall of Famer. Former Dallas Cowboys star Troy Aikman was in attendance.

Aikman and Sanders played together on the Cowboys from 1995-99 and won the 1995 Super Bowl. Aikman received a COVID-19 test before heading down to the field.

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Drew Pearson with emotional response to learning he is Hall of Famer

Dallas Cowboys star is in a Pro Football Hall of Famer a year after Canton heartbreak

A year after the disappointment that turned into anger, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson is a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

Pearson was emotional and humble as he received the news from PFHOF honcho David Baker with his former quarterback Roger Staubach and Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones present.

The decision was announced officially during NFL Honors on Saturday.

Tears flowed last year but for a different reason. Pearson said repeatedly, “They broke my heart … they broke my heart” after learning he would not be part of the Class of 2020.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxDbFn8DCz4

A year later, the original No. 88 will take his place in Canton, presuming the pandemic subsides and the ceremony can take place in August.

Peyton Manning tops Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalists

Peyton Manning tops the first-year semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021.

The list of semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame was released on Tuesday. Peyton Manning will certainly get in as a member of the Class of 2021. The other three first-year semifinalists are Jared Allen, Calvin Johnson, and Charles Woodson.

Expect Johnson and Woodson to easily become Hall of Famers along with Manning.

The complete list:

CLASS OF 2021 MODERN-ERA PLAYER SEMIFINALISTS

The following is the list of 2021 Modern-Era Semifinalists, including their positions, years and teams. Also listed are the number of times and years the candidate has been named a semifinalist since this reduction vote was added to the Bylaws for the Selection Committee in 2004.

  • Eric Allen, CB – 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
  • Jared Allen, DE – 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
  • Willie Anderson, T – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
  • Ronde Barber, CB/S – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2018-2021)
  • Cornelius Bennett, LB – 1987-1995 Buffalo Bills, 1996-98 Atlanta Falcons, 1999-2000 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
  • Tony Boselli, T – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve) | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2016-2021)
  • LeRoy Butler, S – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2018-2021)
  • Alan Faneca, G – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2016-2021)
  • Rodney Harrison, S – 1994-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-08 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
  • Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2015-2021)
  • Calvin Johnson, WR – 2007-2015 Detroit Lions | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
  • John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 9 – 2013-2021)
  • Peyton Manning, QB – 1998-2011 Indianapolis Colts (injured reserved 2011), 2012-15 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
  • Clay Matthews, LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2012, 2017, 2019-2021)
  • Sam Mills, LB – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2016, 2019-2021)
  • Richard Seymour, DE/DT – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2018-2021)
  • Steve Tasker, ST/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2004, 2008-2010, 2012-13, 2020-21)
  • Fred Taylor, RB – 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-2010 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)
  • Zach Thomas, LB – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2019-2021)
  • Hines Ward, WR – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2017-2021)
  • Reggie Wayne, WR – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)
  • Patrick Willis, LB – 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)
  • Charles Woodson, CB/S – 1998-2005, 2013-15 Oakland Raiders, 2006-2012 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
  • Darren Woodson, S – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015, 2017, 2019-2021)
  • Bryant Young, DT – 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)