CANTON, OHIO – Three first-year eligible players – cornerback Champ Bailey, tight end Tony Gonzalez and safety Ed Reed – are among the 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019.
Two others – coach Tom Flores and linebacker Zach Thomas – although previously eligible for the Hall of Fame, are semifinalists for the first time. All other individuals on the 2019 list have been a semifinalist in previous years.
The year-round selection process aligns with the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s important Mission to “Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values and Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE.”
The following is the list of 2019 Modern-Era semifinalists, including their positions, years and teams. Also listed are the number of times and years the candidate has been named a semifinalist since this reduction vote was added to the Selection Committee Bylaws in 2004.
- Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2012-19)
- Champ Bailey, CB – 1999-2003 Washington Redskins, 2004-2013 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
- Ronde Barber, CB/S – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-19)
- Tony Boselli, T – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve) | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2016-19)
- Isaac Bruce, WR – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
- LeRoy Butler, S – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-19)
- Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 11 – 2005, 2010-19)
- Alan Faneca, G – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2016-19)
- Tom Flores, Coach – 1979-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-94 Seattle Seahawks | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
- Tony Gonzalez, TE – 1997-2008 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009-2013 Atlanta Falcons | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
- Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
- Steve Hutchinson, G – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-19)
- Edgerrin James, RB – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
- Jimmy Johnson, Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2014-19)
- Ty Law, CB – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
- John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2013-19)
- Clay Matthews, LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2012, 2017, 2019)
- Kevin Mawae, C/G – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
- Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2012-19)
- Sam Mills, LB – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2016, 2019)
- Ed Reed, FS – 2002-2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2013 New York Jets, 2013 Houston Texans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
- Richard Seymour, DE/DT – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-2019)
- Zach Thomas, LB – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
- Hines Ward, WR – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2017-19)
- Darren Woodson, S – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2015, 2017, 2019)
To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated player or coach must not have participated as an active player or coach for five consecutive seasons.
The list of semifinalists was reduced from an initial group of 103 nominees announced in September. The next step in the selection process comes on Thursday, Jan. 3 when the semifinalists are trimmed to 15 Modern-Era Finalists. That list increases to 18 finalists with the inclusion of the recommended nominees of the Hall of Fame’s Contributors and Seniors Committees. The 2019 Contributor Finalists are Pat Bowlen (Owner – 1984-Present Denver Broncos) and Gil Brandt (Vice President of Player Personnel – 1960-1988 Dallas Cowboys; Contributor – 1995-present NFL.com). The Senior Finalist is Johnny Robinson (S – 1960-1971 Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs).
Bowlen, Brandt and Robinson will be voted on separately and, like all other finalists, must receive 80% positive vote from the full Selection Committee on “Selection Saturday” at the annual selection meeting on Feb. 2, 2019 in Atlanta, Ga., the day before Super Bowl LIII.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current bylaws stipulate that between four and eight new members will be selected each year. No more than five Modern-Era Finalists can be elected in a given year. Therefore, a class of six, seven, or eight can only be achieved if one or more of the Contributor and Senior Finalists are elected.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on the eve of Super Bowl LIII at 9 p.m. (ET and PT) on CBS. NFL Honors will be taped earlier that evening at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta from 5-7 p.m. (local) when the 2019 Hall of Fame class will be introduced for the first time. In addition, the NFL and The Associated Press will announce their annual accolades in this awards show with the winners on hand to accept their awards.
The Class of 2019 will be officially enshrined into the Hall of Fame during the spectacular Enshrinement Ceremony held inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium at Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in Canton on Saturday, Aug. 3. The Enshrinement is the main event of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls.