One step closer.

Legendary Raiders head coach Tom Flores and receiver Cliff Branch are among 20 senior finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s special 2020 centennial class.

Players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago remain eligible for Hall of Fame induction as a seniors candidate.

The Hall of Fame put together a blue-ribbon panel of selectors to determine the special class to honor the 100th season of the National Football League. Ten seniors will ultimately be inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with three contributors and two coaches.

Flores was a modern-era finalist last year, the first time he reached that level of the process, but was ultimately not part of the 2019 class.

Branch has been subject to the seniors committee and hasn’t been among the two players added to the Hall of Fame.

The former lightning-quick receiver would be enshrined posthumously. Branch passed away suddenly on Aug. 3.

Branch was a four-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro and won three-time Super Bowl champion. He had 501 career receptions for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns.

Flores was a Super Bowl champion as a player -- he was a quarterback before joining the coaching ranks. He won three Super Bowls as a coach, including two as Raiders head coach. He was the NFL’s first Latino quarterback and first Latino head coach, compiling a 105-90 record including a 8-3 record in the postseason.


The remainder of the special 20-person Class of 2020 will include five modern-era players who will be elected from 15 finalists by the full Selection Committee on the eve of Super Bowl LIV in Miami. The list of the Modern-Era Player finalists will be announced on Jan. 2, 2020.

Here is the list of finalists from which the Blue-Ribbon Panel in January will select part of the 2020 Hall of Fame Class that consists of 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches:


Eight Finalists – Coaches who last coached more than five seasons ago
Two Coaches will be inducted into the Hall’s special Centennial Class of 2020

Don Coryell – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
Bill Cowher – 1992-2006 Pittsburgh Steelers
Tom Flores – 1979-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-94 Seattle Seahawks
Mike Holmgren – 1992-98 Green Bay Packers, 1999-2008 Seattle Seahawks
Jimmy Johnson – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins
Buddy Parker – 1949 Chicago Cardinals, 1951-56 Detroit Lions, 1957-1964 Pittsburgh Steelers
Dan Reeves – 1981-1992 Denver Broncos, 1993-96 New York Giants, 1997-2003 Atlanta Falcons
Dick Vermeil – 1976-1982 Philadelphia Eagles, 1997-99 St. Louis Rams, 2001-05 Kansas City Chiefs


Ten Finalists – An individual other than a player or coach
Three Contributors will be inducted into the Hall’s special Centennial Class of 2020

Bud Adams, Owner – 1960-2013 Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Titans
Ralph Hay, Owner – 1918-1922 Canton Bulldogs
Frank “Bucko” Kilroy, Scout/General Manager/Executive – 1960-61 Philadelphia Eagles, 1962-64 Washington Redskins, 1965-1970 Dallas Cowboys, 1971-2006 New England Patriots
Art McNally, Official/Administrator – 1959-2015 National Football League
Art Modell, Owner – 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2011 Baltimore Ravens
Clint Murchison, Founder/Owner – 1960-1983 Dallas Cowboys
Steve Sabol, Administrator/President – 1964-2012 NFL Films
Seymour Siwoff, Owner/President – 1952-2019 Elias Sports Bureau
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
George Young, Contributor/General Manager – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League


Twenty finalists – A player who last played more than 25 seasons ago
Ten Seniors will be inducted into the Hall’s special Centennial Class of 2020

Cliff Branch, WR – 1972-1985 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Harold Carmichael, WR – 1971-1983 Philadelphia Eagles, 1984 Dallas Cowboys
Jim Covert, T – 1983-1990 Chicago Bears
Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
Bobby Dillon, S – 1952-59 Green Bay Packers
LaVern Dilweg, E – 1926 Milwaukee Badgers, 1927-1934 Green Bay Packers
Ox Emerson, G/LB/C – 1931-37 Portsmouth Spartans/Detroit Lions, 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers
Randy Gradishar, LB – 1974-1983 Denver Broncos
Cliff Harris, S – 1970-79 Dallas Cowboys
Winston Hill, T – 1963-1976 New York Jets, 1977 Los Angeles Rams
Cecil Isbell, TB/DB/HB – 1938-1942 Green Bay Packers
Alex Karras, DT – 1958-1962, 1964-1970 Detroit Lions
Verne Lewellen, HB – 1924-27, 1928-1932 Green Bay Packers, 1927 New York Yankees
Tommy Nobis, LB – 1966-1976 Atlanta Falcons
Drew Pearson, WR – 1973-1983 Dallas Cowboys
Donnie Shell, S – 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers
Duke Slater, T – 1922 Milwaukee Badgers, 1922-25 Rock Island Independents, 1926-1931 Chicago Cardinals
Mac Speedie, E – 1946-1952 Cleveland Browns [AAFC/NFL]
Ed Sprinkle, DE/LB/E – 1944-1955 Chicago Bears
Al Wistert, OT/DT/G – 1943 Phil-Pitt, 1944-1951 Philadelphia Eagles