The Pro Football Hall of Fame unveiled its list of modern-era nominees for the Class of 2020 on Thursday.
The list includes 122 players eligible to be selected to next year's class. The list will be whittled down to 25 in November and to 15 finalists in January. The finalists will then be presented to the full 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee during its annual meeting on "Selection Saturday," the day before Super Bowl LIV.
Highlighted on Thursday's list are eight first-time candidates: pass rusher John Abraham, linebacker Lance Briggs, returner/receiver Josh Cribbs, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, safety Troy Polamalu, defensive end Justin Smith, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and linebacker Patrick Willis.
This year's compilation includes 63 offensive players, 43 defensive players and 16 special teamers.
Here is the full slate of nominees and you can vote for your favorite candidates at www.nfl.com/HOFvote:
QUARTERBACK -- 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
PUNTERS/KICKERS -- K David Akers, K Gary Anderson, K Jason Elam, P Jeff Feagles, K Jason Hanson, P Sean Landeta, K Ryan Longwell, K Nick Lowery, P Reggie Roby, P Rohn Stark, P Matt Turk
SPECIAL TEAMS -- Johnny Bailey, Josh Cribbs, Mel Gray, Brian Mitchell, Steve Tasker
The Hall of Fame Board recently passed a resolution that suspended the Hall of Fame's Selection Committee By-Laws for the Class of 2020 election cycle only. The measure is intended to honor the NFL's Centennial Celebration through a special Centennial Class that will be comprised of 20 members in 2020. The group will include five modern-era players to come from the list announced in addition to 10 seniors (a player who has been retired for more than 25 seasons), three Contributors (an individual other than a player or coach) and two coaches.
The Selection Committee will meet on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 in Miami to elect the Class of 2020 that will include five Modern-Era players. The Modern-Era Finalists will be trimmed during the meeting from 15 to 10 and then from 10 to the five who will be elected as part of the Class of 2020.
The determination of the seniors, contributors and coaches finalists will be led by a special 25-person Centennial "Blue-Ribbon" panel who will review the backlog of deserving seniors, coaches and contributors. The Blue-Ribbon Panel will be comprised of Hall of Fame Selectors, Pro Football Hall of Famers, media members, football historians and industry experts.
The Centennial Class of 2020 will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the annual enshrinement week from Aug. 6-9, 2020 and the Centennial Celebration in Canton on Sept. 16-19, 2020.
I think Troy Polamalu is the only sure fire Hall of Famer. I think Reggie Wayne was pretty good but I never thought of him as being the absolute best wide reciever any year he played. I'm eh about Willis, too many injuries.
The most controversial selectee I think next year will be Bob Kraft. I think he gets in with the expansion. He obviously deserves it based on his contributions to football over the last 25 years but his arrest will be brought up along with the Patriots cheating habits to keep him out.