Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Nominees Announced
NFL Week 3 - Former Cleveland Browns six-time All Pro left tackle Joe Thomas and former New York Jets and New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis of “Revis Island” fame headline the new names among the 129 former players nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2023 on Tuesday.
The Hall of Fame field will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in January. The selection committee will then meet to select five inductees sometime before the Super Bowl.
Thomas and Revis should breeze through to the finalist stage. Thomas is almost certain to be selected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot. Revis also has a strong case to be a first-ballot selection.
Other first-time nominees include former Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals pass rusher Dwight Freeney, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson, New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans, Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVarro Bowman and Oakland Raiders punter Shane Lechler.
Freeney has the best chance of that group to reach the finalist stage, though long-time teammate and fellow edge rusher Robert Mathis stalled at the semifinalist stage in 2021. The others, despite impressive accomplishments, are likely to peak as semifinalists in their first year of eligibility if they get that far.
The usual long-time finalists are also among the nominees, most notably Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas, a five-time All-Pro who has reached the finalist stage five times. Wide receivers Torry Holt, Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne, all finalists last year, are also among the nominees, as are 2022 semifinalists at the position Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith and Hines Ward. Those receivers, like edge rushers Jared Allen, Demarcus Ware and Mathis-Freeney, are likely to crowd one another out due to limited space on each stage of the ballot.
The vast nominee field is both a celebration of greats from the recent past and a sobering reminder of just how high the bar for entry to the Pro Football Hall of Fame truly is. Among the famous names unlikely to progress to the semifinalist stage: Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Tiki Barber, Warrick Dunn, Wes Welker, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Tedy Bruschi, London Fletcher, Rodney Harrison, and many other popular favorites among hometown fan bases.
Check out the full ballot in the link below and tell us what you think!