One of the top shutdown corners in NFL history and perhaps the greatest returner to ever play the game are among 15 finalists selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023, it was announced on Wednesday.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis and cat-quick return man Devin Hester headline a list that includes three other defensive backs in safety Darren Woodson and cornerbacks Ronde Barber and Albert Lewis.
Other defensive players on the gold jacket finalist list are edge rushers DeMarcus Ware, Dwight Freeney and Jared Allen, along with linebackers Patrick Willis and Zach Thomas.
Receivers Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson made the cut. Joining them are offensive lineman Willie Anderson and Joe Thomas.
Freeney, Revis and Thomas are finalists in their first year of eligibility, while Johnson, Allen, Hester and Ware are in their second year.
Revis was a four-time first-team All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl selection during his 11 seasons in the NFL, including eight with the New York Jets. He also won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots during the 2014 season.
Hester played 11 seasons in the NFL, including eight with the Chicago Bears. He holds the NFL record for most returns for a touchdown on special teams with 20 (14 punts, five kickoffs, one missed field goal).
Selected in the second round of the 2006 draft out of Miami, Hester was voted to three Pro Bowls, won 13 special teams player of the week awards and was voted to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
Players must have participated as an active NFL player for five consecutive seasons to be considered and nominated for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
CLASS OF 2023 MODERN-ERA PLAYER FINALISTS
- Jared Allen
- Willie Anderson
- Ronde Barber
- Dwight Freeney
- Devin Hester
- Torry Holt
- Andre Johnson
- Albert Lewis
- Darrelle Revis
- Joe Thomas
- Zach Thomas
- DeMarcus Ware
- Reggie Wayne
- Patrick Willis
- Darren Woodson
In addition to the Modern-Day Player Finalists, Don Coryell was nominated by the coach/contributor committee and three players were nominated by the senior committee: linebacker Chuck Howley, defensive tackle Joe Klecko and quarterback Ken Riley.
Final voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame will take place later this month by the 49-person selection committee in advance of Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona. The Class will be announced live on the “NFL Honors” telecast scheduled to air on Feb. 9.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 will be enshrined Aug. 5 in Canton.
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Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.
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