Pro Football Hall of Fame Announces 122 Modern Era Nominees
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its 122 nominees for the Class of 2022. That field will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in January.
The first-year nominees include Anquan Boldin, Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Jake Long, Nick Mangold, DeMarcus Ware, Robert Mathis, Vince Wilfork and Antonio Cromartie. The real action here is at wide receiver, where Johnson and Smith have reasonable first-ballot cases but are likely to get caught in a logjam at their position, while Ware and Mathis are about to join an increasingly-crowded field of pass rushers.
Regular finalists Ronde Barber, Tony Boselli, LeRoy Butler, Sam Mills and Richard Seymour and Zach Thomas are among the nominees, as expected, as is second-year finalist Jared Allen and wide receivers Torry Holt and Reggie Wayne, who have been splitting wide receiver votes among the selection committee for some time (and may soon split them with Johnson, Smith and/or others). With no true "top priority" first ballot nominees, Boselli, Butler and Thomas top my list of likely inductees this year.
Other names to keep an eye on among nominees include Willie Anderson and Kevin Williams.
Cliff Branch is the Seniors "nominee," with Dick Vermeil as the Coach Finalist and Art McNally as the Contributor Finalist. All three will be essentially rubber-stamped in January.
Discuss your picks for the Class of 2022 below! And remember, 117 of these players are going to get "snubbed."