The 15 Modern-Era Player Finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame‘s Class of 2020 include seven individuals who are finalists for the first time. The list is comprised of two first-year eligible players with safety Troy Polamalu and wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Five others — safety LeRoy Butler, wide receiver Torry Holt, linebackers Sam Mills and Zach Thomas, and defensive tackle Bryant Young — have been previously eligible for the Hall of Fame but this year marks their first time as finalists.
The Modern-Era Player Finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee from a list of 122 nominees named in September that was reduced to 25 Semifinalists in late November.
The 2020 Modern-Era Player Finalists with their positions, years and teams, as announced on NFL Network on Thursday:
» Troy Polamalu, S — 2003-2014 Pittsburgh Steelers
» Bryant Young, DT — 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers
» Steve Atwater, S — 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
» LeRoy Butler, S — 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers
» Reggie Wayne, WR — 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts
The Hall of Fame Board recently passed a resolution that suspended the Hall of Fame‘s Selection Committee Bylaws 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 today 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 finalists will be presented to the full 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee during its annual meeting on Selection Saturday,” on Feb. 1, 2020, the day before Super Bowl LIV. The Selection Committee will elect five Modern-Era players for the Class of 2020.
The determination of the Seniors, Contributors and Coaches will be made by a special 25-person Centennial “Blue-Ribbon” Panel who will review the backlog of deserving Seniors, Coaches and Contributors. The Blue-Ribbon Panel is 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 Powered by Johnson Controls from Aug. 6-9, 2020 and the Centennial Celebration in Canton on Sept. 16-19, 2020.