Yesterday afternoon the Pro Football Hall of Fame put out their list for the 129 finalists for the Class of 2023. Being named to that list alone means that you have done something in your career, whether it be long or short, to impact the game of football in a positive manner. Out of the 129 finalists there are 67 offensive players, 50 defensive players, and 12 special teams only players. There are few players whose criteria makes them eligible for both such as former Patriots receiver and special teamer Troy Brown and Browns receiver and special teamer Josh Cribbs.
Players become eligible for consideration after five full seasons of not playing. This means that players who are first timers to the list last played in the 2017 season. That list includes RB Chris Johnson, OL Jahri Evans and Joe Thomas, DL Dwight Freeney, LB NaVorro Bowman and James Harrison, DB Kam Chancellor and Darrelle Revis and punter Shane Lechler.
Finalists from last season who did not get selected were Wide Receivers Torry Holt, Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne, and Devin Hester who also is listed as a Special Teamer. The only other offensive player who was a finalist last season was Willie Anderson, who was a longtime tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Defensively there are five players as well. Jared Allen, Defensive End, is the only lineman on the other side of the ball who was in the final 15 in last year’s selection. Linebackers include Zach Thomas, DeMarcus Ware, and Patrick Willis who all will get in at some point it is just a matter of time. Lastly, Ronde Barber is the lone Defensive Back who was selected to be a finalist last year.
The list of 129 will be cut down to 25 in early November with the 15 finalists announced in early January. The Class of 2023 will be announced at next season’s Super Bowl in Arizona. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be inducted in August.
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