The 15 finalists for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame from the Class of 2022 were announced Thursday.
Five first-time candidates were on the list, including three — Andre Johnson, DeMarcus Ware and Devin Hester — who became first-timers in their first year of Hall of Fame eligibility. The other first-time finalists were former 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis and former Bengals and Ravens offensive tackle Willie Anderson.
Hester is looking to become the first enshrinee who played primarily on special teams and was not a kicker or punter.
Of the 2021 finalists who were not inducted, Clay Matthews was the only one who was not among the 2022 finalists.
This year’s finalists were selected from the list of 26 semifinalists announced in November. Among the semifinalists who didn’t make the cut were pass-rusher Robert Mathis, cornerback Eric Allen, wide receiver Hines Ward and special teamer Steve Tasker. Tasker was in his final year of eligibility on the modern-era ballot.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee will meet Jan. 18 to select up to five modern-era players for induction into Canton. The full 2022 class will be unveiled Feb. 12 during the NFL Honors show the night before the 2022 Super Bowl.
Sporting News tracked the announcement of the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists. Below is a full list:
Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists 2022
Modern-era players (in order of announcement)
|Name||Position||Times as finalist|
|Andre Johnson||Wide receiver||1|
|Devin Hester||Kick returner/wide receiver||1|
|Willie Anderson||Offensive tackle||1|
|Jared Allen||Defensive end||2|
|Bryant Young||Defensive tackle||2|
|Ronde Barber||Defensive back||2|
|Reggie Wayne||Wide receiver||3|
|Torry Holt||Wide receiver||3|
|Richard Seymour||Defensive line||4|
|Tony Boselli||Offensive tackle||6|
- Dick Vermeil, Eagles (1976-92); Rams (1997-99); Chiefs (2001-05)
Contributors (non-coach, non-player)
- Art McNally, former referee and NFL director of officiating, 1968-91
Seniors (last played more than 25 years ago)
- Cliff Branch, WR, Raiders, 1972-86