Hall of Fame’s 2020 class narrowed to 25 semifinalists

AP

Three first-year eligible players were among the list of semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2020, which was announced this afternoon.

The initial list of 122 nominees was pared to 25, and that group includes first-timers including safety Troy Polamalu, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and linebacker Patrick Willis.

Four other players were semifinalists for the first time, despite being previously eligible: Linebacker Carl Banks, running backs Fred Taylor and Ricky Watters, and defensive tackle Bryant Young.

There’s a little more room for new faces than in past years, since the Hall has siphoned off coaches and contributors as part of a Centennial Class which is voted upon separately.

The other 18 semifinalists include running backs Edgerrin James, wide receivers Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and Hines Ward, offensive linemen Tony Boselli, Alan Faneca, and Steve Hutchinson, defensive linemen Simeon Rice and Richard Seymour, linebackers Clay Matthews, Sam Mills, and Zach Thomas, and defensive backs Steve Atwater, Ronde Barber, LeRoy Butler, John Lynch, and Darren Woodson, and special teamer Steve Tasker.

That group will be voted to 15 finalists, which will be announced in January, with the final deliberations and voting for a class of five modern inductees to be conducted the day before the Super Bowl.

In last year’s voting, the five players who made it to the final 10 but fell just short of induction were Boselli, Faneca, Hutchinson, Atwater, and James. The ones who made the top 15 but not the top 10 included coaches Don Coryell and Tom Flores, Bruce, Seymour, and Lynch.

103 responses to “Hall of Fame’s 2020 class narrowed to 25 semifinalists

  1. That’s going to be a hard list to trim down. They are all deserving. I’m glad I don’t have to decide.

  2. Edgerrin James NO
    Isaac Bruce NO
    Torry Holt NO
    Hines Ward NO
    Tony Boselli NO
    Alan Faneca NO
    Steve Hutchinson YES
    Simeon Rice NO
    Richard Seymour YES
    Clay Matthews NO
    Sam Mills YES
    Zach Thomas NO
    Steve Atwater YES
    Ronde Barber NO
    LeRoy Butler NO
    John Lynch NO
    Darren Woodson YES
    Steve Tasker YES

  3. “Poison Pill” Hutchinson deserves to get into the HOF. Here’s to hoping he does. Great player, who I wish had stayed with the Seahawks.

  4. If Terrell Davis is in the HOF then so is Patrick Willis
    ——————————————————–
    Buddy, if Curtis Martin is in the hall, then TD should’ve been in years ago, and Patrick Willis and Frank Gore should be in as well

  5. Zach Thomas has identical statistics to Brian Urlacher and he was inducted 1st Ballet (and more ALL Pro nods)

  6. .648 winning percentage as a HC. .667 winning percentage in the post season. Won Superbowls with two different QBS. Three additional Superbowls titles as a defensive coordinator.

    I’m not even a 49ers fan, but Mr. Seifert gets screwed over again. Along with Jimmy Johnson and Tom Flores.

  7. WelcomeToBroncoLand says:
    November 26, 2019 at 1:39 pm
    If Terrell Davis is in the HOF then so is Patrick Willis
    ——————————————————–
    Buddy, if Curtis Martin is in the hall, then TD should’ve been in years ago, and Patrick Willis and Frank Gore should be in as well

    __________________________________

    Frank Gore still plays football. He isn’t eligible

  8. Not a big fan of special teamers (excluding punters and kickers) getting in. Most are just defensive backs and linebackers who aren’t good enough to start.

  9. commentawaitingdeletion says:
    November 26, 2019 at 1:11 pm
    Don Coryell & Tom Flores not being in the HoF is a travesty.
    It would be great to see Tasker get in. ST’ers just don’t get their due and he’s as good as there ever was.

    54 5 Rate This

    ——————–

    For once, you actually said something that wasn’t littered with PC garbage.

    What’s annoying is how Millennials have no idea who those people are, who you just mentioned.

    They base all of their knowledge off of fantasy football and more modern day players from when then they were kids.

    There are numerous other players that should be in as well. It makes me sick to see the disrespect.

  10. Troy is a lock! Air Coryell and Steve Tasker did there part to revolutionize the NFL! Those 3 should be locks and add whoever else you want to round out the 2020 induction.

  11. Ronde Barber earned the nickname “Mr. 40-20” as he became the only player in NFL history to record at least 25 sacks and 40 interceptions. Very impressive for a DB.

  12. teddywong says:
    November 26, 2019 at 2:06 pm
    Polamalu, Faneca, Hines Ward, Bill Cowher, then call it a day!

    0 5 Rate This

    —————

    Considering every single Steelers player is automatically overrated by their homer fans, you will probably be right.

  13. 91qboy says:
    November 26, 2019 at 2:24 pm
    Ronde Barber earned the nickname “Mr. 40-20” as he became the only player in NFL history to record at least 25 sacks and 40 interceptions. Very impressive for a DB.

    0 1 Rate This

    ——————-

    Absolutely. Super high IQ player, too. Always around the ball. BB would have LOVED him in NE.

    He has my vote.

  14. If you don’t think Polamalu is first ballot, you should probably stop wasting your time watching football because you’re obviously not paying attention.

  15. Still no respect for Cliff Branch even after he passed away? What a disgrace.

    Branch was every bit as good as John Stallworth (in the HOF from the same era) and Branch was much better than Lynn Swann (in the HOF from the same era).

  16. I’d just like to see one of the players from that 2002 SB winning Bucs Defense get in this year to join Sapp and Brooks. Ronde is in my opinion the greatest nickel CB ever, Lynch is one of the smartest and hardest hitting safeties ever, and Rice was one of the most dominant edge rushers of the late 90s and early 2000s. All 3 are deserving but I’m hoping at least one can make it in from this impressive list.

  17. Edgerrin James is a HOF’er. No question about it. The Colts were the most dominant team in the 2000’s during the regular season. Peyton is 100 percent in and Marvin is already there. People hang on to the fact that he did not win a Superbowl but neither did Eric Dickerson. Lastly, of the all-time rushing list, the top 10 that are eligible have all made it. Edge is #11. PUT HIM IN.

  18. Still no Cliff Branch,better than the other 3 that were nominated.Branch was the all time leader in postseason receptions and yardage when he retired.He still top ten on the list in both categories,and he retired 35 years ago. 60 someodd td”s on only 500 catches,that ratio is probably better than any player that ever played the game with the exception of former Raider Warren Wells. For some strange reason the voters dont like Branch. That’s why I put very little value in anything sportswriters have to do with. Hall of Fame voting is a joke
    If you dont think so,Ray Guy is in and Branch is not. Ridiculous

  19. Sorry, but another year gone by and another joke of a field.

    Why is Henry Ellard not on that list? When he retired in 1998 he was number 3 all-time in receiving yards (before the passing craze offense started). The Rams had no idea how to use him the first 5 years, mainly as a punt returner and special teams. He’s still 15th all time in yards and he had more yards than Holt. He was the best Rams receiver ever.

    And why is Cliff Branch not in? A better receiver than Swan and as good or better than Stallworth. He has 3 rings.

    Clay Matthews is one of the few solid picks simply because of all those tackles. But Jessie Tuggle and Kyle Clifton should also be enshrined. There are no active players within 500 tackles of these guys. (These guys are locked in at 1, 3 and 5 all-time). While both Thomas and Mills have over 1,100 tackles (placing in Top 21), they are 300 plus tackles behind these three.

  20. HOF voters lost all credibility when they refused to choose Roger Craig. Jerome Bettis (by the majority of voters in the eastern time zone) gets in Roger Craig should be in.

  21. WelcomeToBroncoLand says:
    November 26, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    If Terrell Davis is in the HOF then so is Patrick Willis
    ——————————————————–
    Buddy, if Curtis Martin is in the hall, then TD should’ve been in years ago, and Patrick Willis and Frank Gore should be in as well

    —————————————

    Curtis Martin had 10 straight years with 1094+ yards on the ground. He had years with 1697, 1513, 1487, 1464 yards. He had 4 seasons with double digit TD’s 14, 14, 12, 10. He also had 9 seasons with 41 or more receptions including a 70 reception 500+ in a season.

    Curtis Martin deserves to be in the HoF. I was never a Pats or Jets fan but acting like Martin is some sort of low point as to why others should get in is completely wrong.

  22. SWFLPC.INC says:
    November 26, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Why do people keep clamoring for Tom Flores?

    12 seasons with a .527 sinning percentage for 97 wins. This guy is the definition of average

    ————————–

    And two Super Bowl wins. That aint average.

  23. war27 says:
    November 26, 2019 at 5:43 pm
    SWFLPC.INC says:
    November 26, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Why do people keep clamoring for Tom Flores?

    12 seasons with a .527 sinning percentage for 97 wins. This guy is the definition of average

    —————

    The list of head coaches who won multiple Super Bowls without a Hall of Fame QB are:

    Joe Gibbs
    Bill Parcells
    Tom Flores

    The end

  24. war27 says:
    November 26, 2019 at 5:43 pm
    SWFLPC.INC says:
    November 26, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Why do people keep clamoring for Tom Flores?

    12 seasons with a .527 sinning percentage for 97 wins. This guy is the definition of average

    ————————–

    And two Super Bowl wins. That aint average.

    ————-

    So by that logic you are saying Tom Coughlin deserves to be in the HOF?

  25. Tasked should be in. He was the greatest player at his position. I’m saying this, and yeah I also think Matthew slater should be considered, after tasker of course.

    For those who say they are one truck pony’s or not good enough to play another position, I’ll say this: they both have won more games than you did.

  26. 91qboy says:
    November 26, 2019 at 2:24 pm
    Ronde Barber earned the nickname “Mr. 40-20” as he became the only player in NFL history to record at least 25 sacks and 40 interceptions. Very impressive for a DB.
    —————————–
    Rodney Harrison is the only DB in history with 30 picks and 30 sacks and he’s not even on the list!

  27. EDgerrin James-No; Roger Craig deserves to consideration first; great numbers for the era he played.
    Isaac Bruce NO
    Torry Holt NO
    Hines Ward NO
    Tony Boselli NO
    Alan Faneca NO
    Steve Hutchinson YES
    Simeon Rice NO
    Richard Seymour NO
    Clay Matthews NO
    Sam Mills YES
    Zach Thomas YES (If Jason Taylor made it, he should as well. 3rd best middle backer of the era behind Lewis and Urlacher.)
    Steve Atwater YES
    Ronde Barber NO
    LeRoy Butler NO
    John Lynch NO
    Darren Woodson NO
    Steve Tasker NO; Special teams players don’t get that kind of love from the Hall.

  28. SWFLPC.INC says:
    November 26, 2019 at 2:18 pm
    Why do people keep clamoring for Tom Flores?

    12 seasons with a .527 sinning percentage for 97 wins. This guy is the definition of average.
    **************************************************************************************8
    First non white coach to win the Super Bowl actually he won 2 Super Bowls. Dungy being in before Flores is a joke.

  29. Steeler haters are funny as hell. Your hate blinds you. Troy and Faneca hands down belong in. Id also put in roger craig and Tasker

  30. Someone asked why Branch wasn’t in with 60+ TD’s on only 500 catches. He actually answered his own question. 500 catches in 15 years. 33 catches per year. Pretty low bar even in those days…

  31. I fully expect that when Tom Brady retires, the HofF will forego the five year waiting period and immediately induct him.

  32. SWFLPC.INC says:
    November 26, 2019 at 2:18 pm
    Why do people keep clamoring for Tom Flores?

    12 seasons with a .527 sinning percentage for 97 wins. This guy is the definition of average.

    *************************************************************

    Flores is the first Hispanic coach to win two Super Bowls amongst the lowly 97 wins you list. Flores has been too long overlooked for the HOF. Enshrine him before he dies man. Stabler never realized the fruits of enshrinement.

    HOF. He was a starting QB for the original Raiders as well.

  33. Branch played in the 70’s to 1985 and had to share the ball with 2 other HOF’ers Fred Biletnikoff, and Dave Casper. Later sharing with Todd Christensen. When Branch retired he was top 10 in total yards. From 1974 thru 1983 he was the best WR’s in the AFC if not the NFL, better than Charlie Joyner, John Stallworth. He was soon eclipsed, but that’s not the same.

  34. Boselli and Atwater are the ONLY Hall of Famers that were absolutely dominant game changers.
    Hutch and Fanaca are great OL but I can’t evaluate guard play.

    Patrick Willis is close because he was FEARED and dominant. Put Willis in!

    The HOF is getting too lenient allowing more than those 3 in the Hall.

  35. Branch belongs in, definitely. Mel Blount was afraid of Branch. Harvey Martin belongs in as does Ed “Too Tall” Jones. ask Ron Jaworski, ask Phil Simms, Joe Theisman, etc. I rest my case.

  36. Bryant Young ….every bit the pass rusher as Warren Sapp from the interior¹. Ten times the run stopper. One tenth the self promoter.

  37. How many people know that when Zach Thomas retired he had the most tackles in NFL history? How many people know that Zach Thomas is cited by almost every QB from 1997-2005 as the hardest linebacker to scheme against? The man is like 5’7” IRL and should have been a first ballot HOFer

  38. Not easy to choose from such a pedestrian class. I would give gold jacket to Troy Polamalu (2nd or 3rd best safety of his generation), Patrick Willis (he was the best middle linebacker for couple of years), Steve Hutchinson (one of the best guards for almost a decade), Steve Atwater (he was 1st team 90’s all-decade team and two-time champ, if that counts for anything) and Tony Boselli (great player for a short time, but longevity shouldn’t matter that much for truly great players). Even Alan Faneca or Richards Seymour would be ok.

    There seems to be only one or two skill player worth the jacket (Edgerrin James and maybe Reggie Wayne) in this years class. Great opportunity clear the log jam for defensive players and offensive linemen.

  39. Unless I’m missing something, I’m disappointed the Hall didnt include any old timers that may be deserving. They are celebrating 100 years, why only include players from within the last 40 years.

  40. I believe this is LeRoy Butler’s 3rd straight year to be one of the 25 semifinalists. If you say Butler doesn’t belong in the Hall you never saw him play or you are just a hater. LeRoy Butler should be the 31st Green Bay Packer inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. No debate.

    Steve Hutchinson’s best years were in Seattle and he played in one Super Bowl with the Hawks. While I do think Steve was a very good guard in Seattle, I just didn’t see the elite status or success it takes to get in Hall of Fame later in his career.

    I saw John Lynch play a lot in Tampa and he is definately deserving of a gold jacket. His few years in Denver he was still playing at a elite level. People doubted him when he was hired as GM of the 49ers but he has excelled in that post as well.

    It is a joke that Clay Matthews isn’t already in the Hall of Fame. Without doubt one of the best LB’s to ever play the game, it would be ridiculous to leave him out again. If you saw Clay play for the Browns in the late 70’s, through the 80’s, and into the early 90’s you know he belonged in the Hall about 19 years ago.

  41. Clay Mathews ???? I thought the NFL was opposed to steroids. Mathews is the definition of a one trick pony. He was a speed rushing LB and thats it. Not good in coverage, not good at containment and not good against the run. There are many more deserving of the hall than roid boy Mathews.

  42. onebuffalove716 says:
    November 26, 2019 at 6:18 pm
    Tasked should be in. He was the greatest player at his position. I’m saying this, and yeah I also think Matthew slater should be considered, after tasker of course.
    For those who say they are one truck pony’s or not good enough to play another position, I’ll say this: they both have won more games than you did.

    I beg to differ, Brian Mitchell should be in there before Tasker, plus the selection team is shady anyway, anytime the receivers on this list doesn’t include Gary Clark.

  43. If nothing else, the arguments down here seem to illustrate quite well why there’s no consensus on these names.

  44. Hopefully Zach Thomas makes some traction this time around. Shld have been in a long time ago IMO. Great player. 7 Pro Bowls. 5 First team All-Pro. 2 Second team All-Pro. That’s pretty damn good.

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