Sunday, January 23, 2022

Reggie Wayne, Torry Holt, DeMarcus Ware among finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2022 induction class

The Pro Football Hall of Fame revealed their modern-era finalists for the 2022 class on Thursday. Among the list of 15 NFL legends being considered for enshrinement in Canton, Ohio, are three players who made the list in their first year of eligibility, two players previously eligible, but finalists for the first time and then 10 players who at least one other time have reached this stage in the selection process.

Per NFL.com, the modern-era player finalists are determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee, a process that began with 122 nominees. That group was trimmed in November to 26. These 15 finalists have one more round to go, as the selection committee votes on next year’s induction class the week of Super Bowl LVI.

Late Raiders wide receiver Cliff Branch was already chosen as a seniors finalist while Dick Vermeil was selected as the coach finalist and former referee Art McNally is the contributors finalist.

Here are the 15 players who have been selected as Hall of Fame finalists: 

WR Andre Johnson (Texans, Colts, Titans) 2003-16: The former Texans star is eligible for the first time in 2022. A seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, Johnson led the NFL in receiving in 2008 and in 2009. One of the most physically dominant receivers ever, Johnson retired with 1,062 catches with 14,185 yards and 70 touchdowns. 

OLB DeMarcus Ware (Cowboys, Broncos) 2005-16: A menacing pass-rusher, Ware twice led the NFL in sacks during his nine seasons with the Cowboys. After 117 sacks in Dallas, Ware took his talents to Denver, where he and Von Miller posed the NFL’s most formidable pass rushing duo. The duo helped lead the Broncos to a victory over the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Ware retired with 138.5 sacks and eight double-digit sack seasons. He will be eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time in 2022. 

WR Reggie Wayne (Colts) 2001-14: The Batman to Marvin Harrison’s Superman, Wayne was part one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses during the 2000s. Wayne — who spent his entire 15-year career with the Colts — got a key touchdown in the Colts’ victory over the Bears in Super Bowl XLI. He later served as Manning’s No. 1 option during the team’s 2009 Super Bowl run. Wayne retired with 1,070 receptions for 14,345 yards and 82 touchdowns. 

WR Torry Holt (Rams, Jaguars) 1998-09: A valuable member of the “Greatest Show on Turf,” Holt led the NFL in receiving twice. He was a Pro Bowler seven times over an eight-year span. In 173 career games, he caught 920 passes for 13,382 yards and 74 touchdowns.

DE/DT Richard Seymour (Patriots, Raiders) 2001-12: The sixth overall pick in the 2001 draft, Seymour helped the Patriots capture their first of six Super Bowls during his rookie season. Seven years later, Seymour left New England as a three-time champion, five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro. Seymour added two more Pro Bowl selections to his resume during his four years with the Raiders. 

The other 10 finalists

DE Jared Allen (Chiefs, Vikings, Bears, Panthers): 2004-15

OT Willie Anderson (Bengals, Ravens): 1996-08 

DB Ronde Barber (Buccaneers): 1997-12

OT Tony Boselli (Jaguars): 1995-01

S LeRoy Butler (Packers): 1990-01

WR/PR/KR Devin Hester (Bears, Falcons, Ravens): 2006-16

LB Sam Mills (Saints, Panthers): 1986-97

LB Zach Thomas (Dolphins, Cowboys): 1996-08

LB Patrick Willis (49ers): 2007-14

DT Bryant Young (49ers): 1994-07

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