Troy Polamalu, Patrick Willis among first-time Hall of Fame nominees
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced plans for an expanded class of inductees in 2020 by approving a proposal to put together a group of 15 candidates for selection in addition to the annual group of modern era nominees.
That new group will be made up of 10 seniors candidates, three contributors and two coaches and the entire group must be voted in as a block or none of them will make it.
Voting procedures will remain the same for the modern era nominees, who must make several cuts before before selectors meet the day before the Super Bowl to vote for a maximum of five inductees from 15 finalists. Those inductees must get at least 80 percent approval.
The Hall announced the 122 nominees who will be in the running for those spots on Thursday. The group, which includes players whose careers ended less than 25 years ago, includes eight first-time nominees. They are Troy Polamalu, Maurice Jones-Drew, Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, John Abraham, Reggie Wayne, Lance Briggs and Josh Cribbs.
The group also includes 2018 finalists Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Richard Seymour, Isaac Bruce, Edgerrin James, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson and John Lynch.
The entire list of nominees, which will be cut to 25 in November and 15 in January, is below:
QUARTERBACKs -- Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Boomer Esiason, Jeff Garcia, Jeff Hostetler, Dave Krieg, Donovan McNabb
RUNNING BACKS -- Shaun Alexander, Mike Alstott, Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Larry Centers, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Priest Holmes, Edgerrin James, Daryl Johnston, Thomas Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew, Eric Metcalf, Lorenzo Neal, Clinton Portis, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker, Chris Warren, Ricky Watters
WIDE RECEIVERS -- Isaac Bruce, Gary Clark, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne
TIGHT ENDS -- Dallas Clark, Ben Coates, Keith Jackson, Brent Jones, Jeremy Shockey, Wesley Walls
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN -- Willie Anderson, Matt Birk, Tony Boselli, Lomas Brown, Ray Donaldson, Alan Faneca, Kevin Gogan, Jordan Gross, Chris Hinton, Kent Hull, Steve Hutchinson, Lincoln Kennedy, Olin Kreutz, Chris Samuels, Jeff Saturday, Brian Waters, Richmond Webb, Erik Williams, Steve Wisniewski
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN -- John Abraham, La’Roi Glover, Casey Hampton, Chester McGlockton, Leslie O’Neal, Simeon Rice, Richard Seymour, Justin Smith, Neil Smith, Greg Townsend, Bryant Young
LINEBACKERS -- Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Lance Briggs, Tedy Bruschi, James Farrior, London Fletcher, Seth Joyner, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest, Sam Mills, Chris Spielman, Takeo Spikes, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas, Jessie Tuggle, Patrick Willis
DEFENSIVE BACKS -- Eric Allen, Steve Atwater, Ronde Barber, LeRoy Butler, Nick Collins, Merton Hanks, Rodney Harrison, Albert Lewis, John Lynch, Terry McDaniel, Tim McDonald, Troy Polamalu, Bob Sanders, Troy Vincent, Darren Woodson
KICKERS -- David Akers, Gary Anderson, Jason Elam, Jason Hanson, Ryan Longwell, Nick Lowery,
PUNTERS -- Reggie Roby, Rohn Stark, Matt Turk, Sean Landeta, Jeff Feagles
SPECIAL TEAMS -- Johnny Bailey, Josh Cribbs, Mel Gray, Brian Mitchell, Steve Tasker