Hall of Fame announces 94 modern-era nominees for 2017

Getty Images

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced 94 former players and coaches as modern-era nominees for the Hall’s 2017 class.

Prominent first-year nominees include pass rusher Jason Taylor, running back LaDainian Tomlinson and wide receiver Hines Ward. 2016 finalists back on the ballot include quarterback Kurt Warner, running backs Edgerrin James and Terrell Davis, wide receiver Terrell Owens, offensive linemen Alan Faneca and Joe Jacoby, safeties Steve Atwater and John Lynch, kicker Morten Andersen and ex-coach Don Coryell.

The list will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November and to 15 finalists in January. Eighteen finalists — those 15 from this group, senior finalist Kenny Easley and contributor category finalists Jerry Jones and Paul Tagliabue — will be presented to the selection committee before the Super Bowl next February. Between four and eight new Hall of Famers will be selected.

The full list of 2017 nominees, by position, is below…

Quarterbacks (7)

Drew Bledsoe, Randall Cunningham, Doug Flutie, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Phil Simms, Kurt Warner

Running backs (13)

Shaun Alexander, Ottis Anderson, Tiki Barber, Larry Centers, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Eddie George, Edgerrin James, Daryl Johnston, Eric Metcalf, LaDainian Tomlinson, Herschel Walker Ricky Watters

Wide receivers (10)

Isaac Bruce, Henry Ellard, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Terrell Owens, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Hines Ward

Tight end (1)

Mark Bavaro

Offensive linemen (14)

Tony Boselli, Ray Donaldson, Alan Faneca, Jay Hilgenberg, Chris Hinton, Kent Hull, Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn, Olin Kreutz, Jim Lachey, Kevin Mawae, Tom Nalen, Nate Newton, Steve Wisniewski

Defensive linemen (5)

Leslie O’Neal, Simeon Rice, Fred Smerlas, Jason Taylor, Bryant Young

Linebackers (11)

Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Bruschi, Seth Joyner, Levon Kirkland, Clay Matthews Jr., Willie McGinest, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Joey Porter, Zach Thomas

Defensive backs (16)

Eric Allen, Steve Atwater, Joey Browner, LeRoy Butler, Brian Dawkins, Rodney Harrison, Ty Law, Albert Lewis, John Lynch, Frank Minnifield, Bob Sanders, Darren Sharper, Dennis Smith, Troy Vincent, Everson Walls, Darren Woodson

Kicker/punter (4)

Morten Andersen, Gary Anderson, Sean Landeta, Nick Lowery

Special teams (2)

Brian Mitchell, Steve Tasker

Coaches (11)

Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, Richie Petitbon, Dan Reeves, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil

116 responses to “Hall of Fame announces 94 modern-era nominees for 2017

  1. BRYANT YOUNG!!! Three lineman couldn’t block that guy. The 49ers had nobody playing next to him most his career so teams would double and triple him. I remember him sacking the Card’s qb in Mexico City, busting through three blocks. That guy was so disruptive with the pass and seemed to always meet the RB in the backfield.

  2. I hope Kurt gets in, he should have 3 SuperBowls.
    Pats video theft
    Pitts – Harrison run back had 5 obvious clips that 30 million people saw just not the refs

  3. Two travesties related to HOF. The 5 year rule shouldn’t apply to coaches. Should be 5 years removed or 20 years experience. No reason to force a coach into retirement so he can get his just due. Also, assistant coaches should be eligible. There are high correlations between HOF players and certain coaches at certain positions(look up john terlink). Those assistants should be recognized.

  4. Jacoby for sure. Three SB’s with different QB’s.

    Teams knew it would be smash mouth and not much many could do about it.

    As the years go bye, he sure stands out.

  5. Seth Joyner should be in, guy was a great two way linebacker that would probably be even more dominant in today’s game. The stats help paint the picture.

    195 games, 52 sacks, 24 interceptions, 26 forced fumbles and recovered 12 fumbles. He went to two Super Bowls and won one, with Denver

    Derrick Brooks: 224 games, 13 1/2 sacks, 25 interceptions, 24 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

    Junior Seau: 268 games, 56 sacks, 18 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and 18 fumble recoveries.

  6. Darren Sharper? THAT Darren Sharper?? Well, I guess ya gotta nominate by NFL accomplishments alone, but will anyone really vote for him? What would his induction be like if he gets in? Closed circuit acceptance speech from prison wearing the gold jacket over his prison garb? It’s just weird.

  7. I would love to see Dawkins make it. If we’re comparing safeties from his era, he has twice as many tackles and forced fumbles as Polamalu or Reed, and has twenty eight career interceptions to their 32 and 64 respectively. Different type of player, but equally as effective and certainly one of the top safeties of his generation.

  8. Roger Craig for sure. First 1000/1000 guy and was integral in the Niners success but often gets overlooked because of Montana & Rice.

    Roger, if you’re reading this, we used to watch Turn It Up A Notch as a team back in the day and you’re the one who changed Rice’s game with the work ethic. Thanks for the memories!

  9. The thing that makes a Hall of Fame elite or special is it should be very small in number and rare to get in. 94 nominees? What a joke. So if you’re a pretty good player some of the time, the new standard is you’re a Hall of Fame candidate. So by the NFL’s low standards, I guess David Tyree is a Hall of Fame shoo-in. He had one great catch.

  10. I’m sure Darren Sharper would love to be in The Pro football Hall of Fame. Can’t wait to see how long he stays on this list. Bill

  11. Out of this list ….clearly Roger Craig has the finest resume and body of work. Not to mention his rings, and the first 1000 yrds rushing and receiving in same season. The day RC moved to HB and Rathman took over his FB duties changed the Niners backfield for yrs and SB’s to come…although Tyler should never be lost in the discussion as the seasoned Vet wbo helped school the Nebraska Connection to their ultimate Greatness as World Champions with the San Francisco 49ers, THE team of the 80’s…

  12. It seems like every long serving player gets a nomination and with that they can claim for the rest of their life that they were nominated for the Hall of Fame. If we are honest, lots of these 94 are not really likely or worthy of HOF, but this is about stroking some egos.

  13. They are letting too many”good” players in. If you have a decent career and happen to be friends with the talking head ex NFL players on the NFL Sunday shows you are at an advantage. Too many great quiet, low key players are waiting their turn.

  14. I don’t have much faith in the hall of fame voting committee, but if any of those WRs get in before Terrell Owens I will just shake my head and laugh.

  15. Terrell Davis does not have HOF numbers plus he took money under the table (along with Elway) to help Denver get around the salary cap in their SB years.

    The HOF is forever stained if they let this guy in.

  16. Darren Sharper??? Everybody knows he would have to take a pass on this possible induction as he has a previous commitment.

  17. 2017 HOF

    Brian Dawkins
    Terrell Davis
    Alan Fanaca
    Kurt Warner
    Sam Mills or Willie McGinest
    Rodney Harrison
    Simeon Rice
    Sean Landetta

    Love to see Brian Mitchell and Darren Woodson, but probably not this year.

    Also, if Tony Dungy got in then why not Dick Vermeil???

  18. Doug Flutie? 14,000 yrds and 86 TDs over 12 years gets you nominated?????

    It is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the NFL Hall of Fame. If you add in Doug Flutie’s years in the CFL, then he should probably be in the hall of fame. The question becomes; how much weight do you put into the CFL years.

  19. The fact that Cliff Branch continues to be excluded after all these years makes the HOF a joke. He played in the same era as John Stallworth and his career numbers are almost identical to Stallworth’s. Plus he was a clutch performer in the postseason (including 3 Super Bowl victories).

    I hope that Cliff doesn’t have to wait until he’s deceased as was(the case for Snake Stabler) to get inducted.

  20. .
    If Dungy is in, why not Freddie Mitchell? Why not Rich Kotite? How about anyone who was ever associated with the Pittsburgh organization.

    Career Path to the Hall of Fame : marginal playing career > assistant coach > head coach >broadcaster >Hall of Fame. It’s a never fail strategy. You actually become better once you enter broadcasting.

  21. glmore says:
    Sep 14, 2016 11:31 PM
    Doug Flutie? 14,000 yrds and 86 TDs over 12 years gets you nominated?????


    It’s not called the “NFL Hall of Fame,” it’s called the “Pro Football Hall of Fame.” Doug Flutie deserves a nomination. He dominated the Canadian Football League and came into the NFL and was the last QB to clinch the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs….

  22. I hope they don’t turn the Hall of Fame into the Hall of Very Good as they are doing in baseball.

    Open it only to the absolutely GREAT players, not the very good ones; not the fan or media favorites, either.

  23. As a Colts fan, I’m SHOCKED to see Bob Sanders’ name on that list.

    IT’S UNDENIABLE that he was a stud and was probably what got the Colts over the hump to win a Super Bowl… but wow was his career short.

    I’d be stoked if he got in… and twice as surprised.

  24. Wow look at those QB’s on that list.. Rich Gannon should be inducted into HOF if you are going by that list. He has better numbers than ALL of those guys!
    Jim Plunkett again not on the list even know he won 2 superbowls (every QB that has won 2 superbowls is already in HOF) and Punkett Was MVP!!
    McNair was not a great QB, Doug Flutie was not even a starting QB! Phil Simms shoud not go in HOF, JESS HOSTETLER SHOULD! He is the one that WON the superbowl not Simms

  25. 94 people on the first list is a lot. But even if there were 194 on the list Phil Simms’ name shouldn’t appear anywhere on it.

    He was a pedestrian QB who has only hurt his overall standing in humanity by being a horrendous TV commentator. Any game he is on is NOT on my TV.

  26. I hope Tagliabue never gets in, for not other reason than his decision to sign the exclusive licensing deal w/ EA (i.e. the Great Satan of American entertainment software) for Madden, which resulted in the death of the much superior NFL2K series. To this day, I’d rather play 2K5 on a PS2 or original Xbox than the newest Madden on PS4 or XB1. It was a dumb decision that killed consumer choice and ended competition for EA, allowing them to package roster updates as a $60 product year after year. All fans, Madden and 2K players alike, would have been better off had that deal never been signed.

  27. The fact that Jerry Kramer, who blocked on five world champion offensive lines (including the only modern-era 3-peat), isn’t already in, is absolutely ridiculous, and beyond asinine.

  28. Jimmy Johnson should be in without question….built the cowgirls from the floor up won 2 SBs and leaves, girls win one more with the team he built, Jerry takes over team building…we all know how that worked out….

    -Giants Fan

  29. Only one tight end – no Ben Coates? Jay Novacek? Brent Jones?

    Not saying they’d make it past the preliminary list, but still.

  30. The top receiver on that list is Henry Ellard. Go look at the stats. Ellard was used as special teams player his first year and in a similar role the next 5 years. That hasn’t happen for 30 years. At that point John Robinson opted to use him primarily as a WR. When he retired in 1998, it was James Lofton, Henry Ellard and Jerry Rice at the top of the all time receiver list. Ellard is still 13th all time in receiving yards and 21st all time in all purpose yards. He belongs in the HOF. He was the greatest LA Rams receiver. Now that the Rams are back, they need to celebrate their history.

    Brian Mitchell, LaDainian Tomlinson, Herschel Walker, and Air Coryell should round out the remaining selections.

  31. Kent Hull please. You can’t have Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed in there without Kent Hull. He was the core of that offense for more than a decade strong.

  32. The HOF continues to be watered down with its silly minimums and categories.

    All involved suffer from ‘HDTV Syndrome’ ie just because every game and/or highlight in a player or coach’s career was available in well-lit full color to every writer and viewer across the nation, many careers looked better than they actually were.

  33. Many average players on this list. It’s time the NFL followed the lead of MLB and only allow the truly great players in and not the 5-6 best choices of that particular year.

  34. To all the guys talking about McNabb. Well here’s this, Simms & McNair are on the list.

    33,462 Yards.
    55.4 %
    199 Tds – 157 ints

    14 Years in the league.

    31,304 Yards
    60.1 %
    174Tds – 119 Ints
    3,590 Rushing, 37tds

    13 Years in the league.

    37,276 Yards
    234Tds – 117Ints
    3,459 Rushing, 29Tds

    13 Years in the league.

    Games played. (161 McNair, 167 McNabb, 164 Simms)

    So if they’re honestly considering McNair & Simms, you have to consider McNabb. As for Flutie, it’s the PRO Football Hall of Fame, not NFL Hall Of Fame. So Flutie has to be considered, CFL is pro football.

  35. Shaun Alexander has near identical numbers as Ricky Williams so why is he on the list and Ricky is not? If you pull the drug card as to why he is not then I say Darren Sharper is on this list…. so is morals really a qualification?

  36. Flutie gets a nod for one reason, well two, I’ll give him two. First, he made a meaningless dropkick for the first time in forever. Hall worthy right there! Second, he was by far one of the the biggest “names” to cross the picket lines during the 1987 strike which lead to the brilliant idea of replacement players. Just 2 weeks earlier he attended a pro union meeting and was walking the picket line. He joined other big names but none bigger than Joe Montana in the NFL’s blatant attempt at union busting. The NFL knows when it owes a guy a solid. The Flutie addition is just a huge THANK YOU for helping to bring the regular players crawling back and accepting the owners terms.

  37. Doug Flutie becomes an interesting argument when you factor in the CFL years.
    Also, the BC years and the Heisman Trophy, oops, that’s college so it can’t be considered in the “Pro Football” HOF context.

  38. Lots of old timers being overlooked in the Hall. Stabler finally got in last year. Atwater and Flores are two sure fire HOFers who need to go in. Ottis Anderson is an underrated favorite of mine.

    Both Boselli and Bavaro should get in under the same guise as other shorter timed HOF greats Earl Campbell and Gale Sayers. Those ’86-’90 Giants Super Bowl winning teams are under represented as it currently stands.

    Yeah there is lots of work to do with past greats…the clock is ticking.

  39. Joey Porter! Wow! He was one of my favorite Seahawk linebackers of the 90’s. I will never forget Joey vs. Boomer Esiason of the Bengals. He got old Boomer so pissed off, it was hilarious. 🙂

  40. Boselli might have been the most dominant left tackle to play in the last 25 years.. and yes I know the names of the studs I’m putting him over. (Pace, Ogden, Roaf, Jones)

  41. Where’s Rolf Benirschke? Kicked GW field goal in “The Epic in Miami,” hosted “Wheel of Fortune”. What more can a man do?

  42. You can just call this list “93 Reasons Why The Pro Football Hall of Fame is Actually The Pro Football Hall of Really Good plus Morten Andersen.”

    Baseball Hall of Fame is better and does it right by not having a minimum number of inductees every year.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.