It already was known that the Pro Football Hall of Fame would have a Centennial Class for 2020. What wasn’t known was how many.
As it stands now, the maximum number of inductees in a year is eight. In conjunction with the NFL’s 100th anniversary celebration, the Pro Football Hall of Fame tentatively has approved a class of 20 for next year, Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker revealed Monday.
It would allow players, coaches and contributors who have fallen through the cracks a spot in Canton.
The operating board has approved five modern-era candidates — the same as normal — plus 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches for the Class of 2020. The full board still must approve the plan during their meeting Aug. 2.
“It is extremely elite company, and it’s not the Hall of very, very good. It’s the Hall of Fame, and so it should be difficult to make it,” Baker said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “But there’s a lot of guys through the years [who have slipped through the cracks]. We have several guys who are on all-decade teams who aren’t in the Hall of Fame, so this is an opportunity with the Centennial coming up. What we’ve looked at potentially and has been approved, at least in concept, by our operating board . . . is that potentially we would have 20 Hall of Famers enshrined for the year 2020.
“This year we have eight, so this would be quite a few guys, but it would be the five normal modern-era players elected from 15 finalists and then 10 seniors, three contributors and two [coaches]. But again, I want to stress that that’s got to be something that’s passed by our board on Friday, Aug. 2.”
The seven first-team all-decade players in the senior pool would have their best shot at earning election. Only one of those, former Cowboys safety Cliff Harris, has ever made it on the list of finalists, according to Rick Gosselin of the Talk of Fame.
Former coach Don Coryell, a five-time finalist, also likely would have a great chance at finally earning his due.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame currently has 318 Hall of Famers.