Browns Thomas a Finalist For The 2023 Hall Of Fame Class
Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas (73) walks on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. The Titans won 12-9 in overtime. (AP Photo/David Richard)

(official Pro Football Hall of Fame release)

15 MODERN-ERA PLAYERS ANNOUNCED AS FINALISTS

FOR PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME’S CLASS OF 2023
10 FINALISTS FROM CLASS OF 2022, 3 FIRST-YEAR ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

AMONG CANDIDATES SELECTION COMMITTEE WILL CONSIDER FOR ENSHRINEMENT

CANTON, OHIO – Fifteen former standouts in the National Football League have reached the doorstep of enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the announcement tonight of the Finalists in the Modern-Era Player category for the Hall’s Class of 2023.

Comprising the Class of 2023’s Modern-Era list of candidates are 10 players who reached this stage in the selection process when the Class of 2022 was chosen, three players in their first year of eligibility and two players who are Finalists for the first time after a combined 35 years of eligibility.

The slate of candidates in the Modern-Era Player category will be considered when the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee meets virtually prior to Super Bowl LVII. The Class of 2023 will be unveiled publicly Feb. 9 during the “NFL Honors presented by Invisalign” broadcast from Phoenix on NFL Network, NBC and Peacock. The players, along with their positions, years and teams are:

  • Jared Allen, Defensive End – 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers
  • Willie Anderson, Offensive Tackle – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens
  • Ronde Barber, Cornerback/Safety – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Dwight Freeney, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker – 2002-2012 Indianapolis Colts, 2013-14 San Diego Chargers, 2015 Arizona Cardinals, 2016 Atlanta Falcons, 2017 Seattle Seahawks, 2017 Detroit Lions
  • Devin Hester, Punt Returner/Kick Returner/Wide Receiver – 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens
  • Torry Holt, Wide Receiver – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Andre Johnson, Wide Receiver – 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016 Tennessee Titans
  • Albert Lewis, Cornerback – 1983-1993 Kansas City Chiefs, 1994-98 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders
  • Darrelle Revis, Cornerback – 2007-2012 New York Jets, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2014 New England Patriots, 2015-16 New York Jets, 2017 Kansas City Chiefs
  • Joe Thomas, Offensive Tackle – 2007-2017 Cleveland Browns
  • Zach Thomas, Linebacker – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys
  • DeMarcus Ware, Linebacker/Defensive End – 2005-2013 Dallas Cowboys, 2014-16 Denver Broncos
  • Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts
  • Patrick Willis, Linebacker – 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers
  • Darren Woodson, Safety – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys

The Selection Committee may elect up to five Modern-Era Players for the Class of 2023; each must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent for election. Four others — Seniors category Finalists Chuck HowleyJoe Klecko and Ken Riley, along with Coach/Contributor Finalist Don Coryell — also are candidates for the Class of 2023. Voting on each of those four will be held individually, in conjunction with the meeting to decide which Modern-Era Players are elected.

The Finalists in the Modern-Era Player category were determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee from the list of 129 nominees named in September that was reduced to 28 Semifinalists on Nov. 22.

TIMES AS FINALIST

Player Times Years
Jared Allen 3 2021-23
Willie Anderson 2 2022-23
Ronde Barber 3 2021-23
Dwight Freeney 1 2023
Devin Hester 2 2022-23
Torry Holt 4 2020-23
Andre Johnson 2 2022-23
Albert Lewis 1 2023
Darrelle Revis 1 2023
Joe Thomas 1 2023
Zach Thomas 4 2020-23
DeMarcus Ware 2 2022-23
Reggie Wayne 4 2020-23
Patrick Willis 2 2022-23
Darren Woodson 1 2023

YEARS OF ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for election, Modern-Era Players must have last played more than five seasons ago.

Year of Eligibility Finalist
1st Dwight Freeney, Joe Thomas, Darrelle Revis
2nd Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, DeMarcus Ware
3rd Jared Allen
4th Reggie Wayne, Patrick Willis
6th Ronde Barber
9th Torry Holt
10th Willie Anderson, Zach Thomas
15th Darren Woodson
20th Albert Lewis

CLASS OF 2023 FINALISTS

JARED ALLEN

HOF Finalist: 3 | Year of Eligibility: 3
Position: Defensive End

Ht: 6-6, Wt: 270

NFL Career: 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings,

2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers

Seasons: 12, Games: 187

College: Idaho State

Drafted: 4th Round (126th Overall), 2004

Born: April 3, 1982, in Dallas, Texas

Buck Buchanan Award winner and Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year out of Idaho State … Fourth-round draft pick (126th overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs … 12-year NFL career, started 181 of 187 career games … Member of the Carolina Panthers 2015 NFC Championship team … Started in Super Bowl 50; amassed one tackle and one QB hit … Led the NFL in sacks twice (2007, 2011) … 2007 Kansas City Chiefs Team MVP … NFL Alumni Player of the Year, 2009 … Career Stats: six interceptions, a fumble recovery for TD, 58 passes defensed and 136 sacks … Tied NFL record for career safeties, four … Five Pro Bowl nods (2008-2010, 2012-13) … Named First-Team All-Pro four times 2007-09, 2011.

WILLIE ANDERSON

HOF Finalist: 2 | Year of Eligibility: 10
Position: Offensive Tackle

Ht: 6-5, Wt: 340

NFL Career: 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens

Seasons: 13, Games: 195

College: Auburn

Drafted: 1st Round (10th Overall), 1996

Born: July 11, 1975 in Whistler, Ala.

Made an immediate impact as a rookie for the Bengals – named to the 1996 All-Rookie Team (PFWA) … Possessed not only the size a tackle needed to excel, but also the speed, strength and humility, allowing him to dominate at his position … Known as a strong run blocker and resilient pass blocker during the entirety of his 13-year tenure in the NFL … Considered an elite right tackle during his career and successfully held back such NFL sack leaders as Hall of Famers John Randle, Bruce Smith, Michael Strahan and Reggie White … Blocked for nine 1,000-yard rushers, as well as Corey Dillon’s two NFL record-breaking games: 246 yards for the rookie record and 278 yards for the all-time record that stood for nearly three years … Started in 184 of his 195 career games … First-team All-Pro honors from 2004-06; second-team All-Pro in 2003 … Received All-AFC recognition in 2005 and 2006 … Voted to four consecutive Pro Bowls – the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 games … Received the Ed Block Courage Award in 2004.

RONDE BARBER

HOF Finalist: 3 | Year of Eligibility: 6
Position: Cornerback/Safety

Ht: 5-10, Wt: 186

NFL Career: 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seasons: 16, Games: 241

College: Virginia

Drafted: 3rd Round (66th overall), 1997

Born: April 7, 1975, in Montgomery County, Va.

Combined durability with productivity … Played in 241 regular-season games over 16 seasons … Started 215 consecutive regular-season games (224 counting postseason) … Finished career with 47 regular-season interceptions for 923 return yards and eight touchdowns — all Tampa Bay franchise records … Totaled 14 defensive and special teams touchdowns (8 INT, 4 FR and 2 on deflected punts) … Twice intercepted three passes in a game and six times forced at least two turnovers in a game … NFL’s all-time leader in sacks for cornerback … Only player in NFL history with a least 45 interceptions and 25 sacks … Three-time All-Pro … Selected to five Pro Bowls … Member of NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s … Led NFL with 10 interceptions in 2001 … Led Buccaneers in interceptions six times … Voted team captain nine times … Buccaneers’ winner of Ed Block Courage Award in 2011 … Full name is Jamael Oronde Barber.

DWIGHT FREENEY

HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 1
Position: Defensive End/Outside Linebacker

Ht: 6-1, Wt: 268

NFL Career: 2002-2012 Indianapolis Colts, 2013-14 San Diego Chargers,

2015 Arizona Cardinals, 2016 Atlanta Falcons, 2017 Seattle Seahawks, 2017 Detroit Lions

Seasons: 16, Games: 218

College: Syracuse

Drafted: 1st Round (11th Overall), 2002

Born: Feb. 19, 1980, in Hartford, Conn.

Drafted in first round (11th overall) in 2002 NFL Draft after leading the nation in sacks (17.5) his senior season at Syracuse … Named Co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year while earning All-American recognition … Ran a 4.38-second- 40 yard dash in pre-draft workouts … Selected to 2002 NFL All-Rookie Team after recording 13 sacks and 20 tackles for loss … Seven Pro Bowl selections (2004-06, 2009-2012) … AP first-team All-Pro in 2004, 2005 and 2009; second-team All-Pro in 2003 … Named All-AFC by PFWA 2003-05 and 2009-2010 … Secured NFL Sack Title with 16 in 2004 … Member of the Colts’ Super Bowl XLI championship team and played in two additional Super Bowls (XLIV, LI) … Played in 218 regular-season games over 16 seasons in NFL … Career stat totals: 125.5 sacks, 148 quarterback hits and 128 tackles for loss … Credited with 47 forced fumbles (tied for fourth on the NFL’s all-time list) and forced three fumbles in a game on two occasions.

DEVIN HESTER

HOF Finalist: 2 | Year of Eligibility: 2
Position: Punt Returner/Kick Returner/Wide Receiver

Ht: 5-11, Wt: 190

NFL Career: 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens

Seasons: 11, Games: 156

College: Miami (Florida)

Drafted: 2nd Round (57th Overall), 2006

Born: Nov. 4, 1982, in Riviera Beach, Fla.

Multi-dimensional player who joined Bears after college career as offensive, defensive and special teams threat … Became immediate standout as return specialist, earning spot on 2006 NFL All-Rookie Team … In debut season, returned 47 punts for 600 yards (both NFL highs) and three TDs, along with 20 kickoffs for 528 yards and two touchdowns … Also returned a missed field goal that season for a 108-yard touchdown – one of only five such “kick-six” scores in an NFL game. … Opened Super Bowl XLI with 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown – the only time in Super Bowl history that has occurred … In second NFL season, returned four kickoffs and two punts for scores, establishing an NFL record for six combined kick returns for TDs … First-team All-Pro three times (2006-07, 2010) … Member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s … One of two return specialists on the NFL 100 All-Time Team.

 

TORRY HOLT

HOF Finalist: 4 | Year of Eligibility: 9
Position: Wide Receiver

Ht: 6-0, Wt: 200

NFL Career: 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars

Seasons: 11, Games: 173

College: North Carolina State

Drafted: 1st Round (6th Overall), 1999

Born: June 5, 1976, in Greensboro, N.C.

 

Named team’s Rookie of the Year after catching 52 passes for 788 yards and 6 TDs to help Rams to Super Bowl title … Had 11 catches for 109 yards and a TD in Rams’ 23-16 victory over Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV … Eight consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons (2000-07) … Career-best 117 catches for 1,696 yards and 12 TDs in 2003 …. Had 10 games with 100 or more yards in 2003 … Led NFL in receptions in 2003 and receiving yardage in 2000 and 2003 … Recorded 80 or more catches in a season eight consecutive years … Led Rams in receptions seven years in a row (2002-08) … Rams’ leading receiving yardage leader a record nine times … 920 career receptions for 13,382 yards and 74 TDs …. Named All-Pro in 2003 and to the second team in 2006 … All-NFC twice … Voted to seven Pro Bowls … Selected to NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

ANDRE JOHNSON

HOF Finalist: 2 | Year of Eligibility: 2
Position: Wide Receiver

Ht: 6-3, Wt: 229

NFL Career: 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016 Tennessee Titans

Seasons: 14, Games: 193

College: Miami (Florida)

Drafted: 1st Round (3rd Overall), 2003

Born: July 11, 1981, in Miami, Fla.

Surpassed 1,000 receiving yards seven times (2004, 2006, 2008-2010, 2012-13) … Led NFL in receptions twice (103 in 2006 and 115 in 2008) and in receiving yards twice (1,575 yards in 2008 and 1,569 yards in 2009) … One of only three players (Jerry Rice, Calvin Johnson) to lead NFL in receiving yards in consecutive seasons … Finished career with 1,062 receptions for 14,185 yards and 70 receiving touchdowns … Texans franchise leader in most receiving statistics … Caught five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown as Texans beat Cincinnati in first playoff appearance (2011); followed the next week with eight receptions for 111 yards in narrow loss to Ravens … Three career games with 200+ receiving yards … First-team All-Pro twice (2008-09) … Selected to seven Pro Bowls (2004, 2006, 2008-10, 2012-13) … Member of 2003 NFL All-Rookie Team … First player elected to Texans’ Ring of Honor (2017).

ALBERT LEWIS

HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 20
Position: Cornerback

Ht: 6-2, Wt: 196

NFL Career: 1983-1993 Kansas City Chiefs, 1994-1998 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders

Seasons: 16, Games: 225

College: Grambling State

Drafted: 3rd Round (61st Overall), 1983

Born: Oct. 6, 1960, in Mansfield, La.

Immediate contributor to Kansas City Chiefs’ secondary with four interceptions as a rookie after collegiate career at Grambling State … Selected in third round of the 1983 NFL Draft (61st overall) … Established himself as starter entering second season and anchored left cornerback position for nearly the next decade … Picked off career-high eight passes in 1985 … Named team MVP in 1986 after totaling four interceptions and 69 tackles. … Helped Chiefs reached AFC Championship Game in final season in Kansas City (1993) with six interceptions in regular season … Played five seasons with Raiders, capping career in 1998 with lone pick-six of his career, a 74-yard return that gave him distinction as oldest player in NFL history (38 years, 26 days) to score a defensive touchdown … Career totals include 42 interceptions, 13 forced fumbles, 12.5 sacks and an NFL-record 11 blocked punts.

DARRELLE REVIS

HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 1
Position: Cornerback

Ht: 5-11, Wt: 198

NFL Career: 2007-2012 New York Jets, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers,

2014 New England Patriots, 2015-16 New York Jets, 2017 Kansas City Chiefs

Seasons: 11, Games: 145

College: Pittsburgh

Drafted: 1st Round (14th Overall), 2007

Born: July 14, 1985, in Aliquippa, Pa.

Selected 14th overall in the first round 2007 of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets … Started at cornerback all 16 games for the Jets during his rookie season, earning him a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie Team … Started at left cornerback for New England and had one sack and one solo tackle in the Patriots’ 28-24 win over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX … First-team All-Pro honors four seasons (2009-2012) … Elected to participate in seven Pro Bowls (2009-2012, 2014-16) … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s … New York Jets’ team MVP in 2009 and 2011 … Finished his 11-year NFL career with 29 interceptions, with three returned for touchdowns, and 139 passes defensed. In 2009, led the NFL in passes defensed with 31 … Second in Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2009.

JOE THOMAS

HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 1
Position: Offensive Tackle

Ht: 6-6, Wt: 312

NFL Career: 2007-2017 Cleveland Browns

Seasons: 11, Games: 167

College: Wisconsin

Drafted: 1st Round (3rd Overall), 2007

Born: Dec. 4, 1984, in Brookfield, Wisc.

Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s top interior lineman and a consensus All-American following his senior season at Wisconsin … Selected third overall in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns … Started at left tackle all 16 games for the Browns his rookie season, finishing second in AP Offensive Rookie of the Year voting to Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson … Known for his agility, strength and durability, he played an NFL record 10,363 consecutive snaps – a streak that ended Oct. 22, 2017, after suffering a triceps tear against the Tennessee Titans … Allowed only 30 sacks in his remarkable career, despite facing several Hall of Fame sack specialists and many team’s top pass rushers … Was the first offensive lineman in NFL history to be named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first 10 seasons … First-team All-Pro honors six seasons (2009-2011, 2013-15) and second-team All-Pro twice (2008, 2012) … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s … Well-known for his involvement in the community, he was selected as the Cleveland Browns’ Walter Payton Man of the Year three times (2010, 2012, 2016).

ZACH THOMAS

HOF Finalist: 4 | Year of Eligibility: 10
Position: Linebacker

Ht: 5-11, Wt: 235

NFL Career: 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys

Seasons: 13, Games: 184

College: Texas Tech

Drafted: 5th Round (154th Overall), 1996

Born: Sept. 1, 1973, in Pampa, Texas

Versatile and instinctive middle linebacker who made immediate impact … Intercepted three passes for 64 yards, one touchdown and 131 tackles, 49 assisted tackles and two sacks to earn team’s MVP honors and named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year, 1996 … Led Dolphins in tackles 10 seasons … Racked up 100 tackles in each of his first 11 seasons … Amassed 22 tackles (14 solo) in 2001 playoff game versus Baltimore Ravens … Set Dolphins’ career record with four interceptions returned for touchdowns … Career statistics include 17 interceptions for 170 yards … Registered 20.5 career sacks … His 168 starts were most by a Dolphins’ defensive player … First player in team history to win Leadership Award (voted by teammates) three times … First-Team All-Pro five times (1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006); Second-Team All-Pro twice (2001, 2005) … Voted to seven Pro Bowls.

DEMARCUS WARE

HOF Finalist: 2 | Year of Eligibility: 2
Position: Linebacker/Defensive End

Ht: 6-4, Wt: 258

NFL Career: 2005-2013 Dallas Cowboys, 2014-16 Denver Broncos

Seasons: 12, Games: 178

College: Troy State

Drafted: 1st Round (11th Overall), 2005

Born: July 31, 1982, in Auburn, Alabama

Entered the League in 2005 as an underdog with something to prove – started all 16 games at right outside linebacker and amassed 58 tackles and a team-best eight sacks … Led the Cowboys in sacks for eight seasons, 2005-2012 … Led the NFL with 20 sacks (2008) and 15.5 sacks (2010) …  Played on only one team with a losing record during his career and helped lead his teams to five playoff appearances … Started at weakside linebacker in the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory over the Carolina Panthers, amassing three solo tackles and two assists, two sacks and four hits on the quarterback … Career stats: 138.5 sacks, intercepted three passes for 44 return yards and one touchdown and also returned two fumbles for touchdowns … Still holds the Cowboys career sacks record with 117 … Voted first-team All-Pro four times (2007-09, 2011); second-team All-Pro three times (2006, 2010, 2012) … Selected to nine Pro Bowls (2007-2013, 2015-16) … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

 

REGGIE WAYNE

HOF Finalist: 4 | Year of Eligibility: 4
Position: Wide Receiver

Ht: 6-0, Wt: 203

NFL Career: 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts

Seasons: 14, Games: 211

College: Miami (Florida)

Drafted: 1st Round (30th Overall), 2001

Born: Nov. 17, 1978, in New Orleans, Louisiana

Offensive threat who helped Colts reach postseason every year but two during his career … Caught 100 passes in a season four times (104 in 2007, 100 in 2009, 111 in 2010, and 106 in 2012) … Recorded 1,000 receiving yards eight times … Led NFL with career-high 1,510 receiving yards, 2007 …Had 10 or more catches in a game 15 times … Set franchise record with 15 receptions versus Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 3, 2010 … Racked up 100 yards in a game 43 times … Career stats: 1,070 catches for 14,345 yards and 82 touchdowns … Started three AFC Championship Games and two Super Bowls … Had two receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl XLI victory … Retired as NFL’s second all-time leading receiver in postseason (93 catches) … First-Team All-Pro, 2010 … Second-Team All-Pro 2007, 2009 … Voted to six Pro Bowls over seven-year span.

PATRICK WILLIS

HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 4
Position: Linebacker

Ht: 6-1, Wt: 242

NFL Career: 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers

Seasons: 8, Games: 112

College: Mississippi

Drafted: 1st Round (11th Overall), 2007

Born: January 25, 1985, in Bruceton, Tennessee

Immediate starter for 49ers after joining team as 11th overall selection in 2007 NFL Draft … Totaled 174 tackles, four sacks, seven QB hits and eight tackles for loss in earning 2007 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Award … Named first-team All-Pro five times in eight NFL seasons (2007, 2009, 2010-12) … Selected to Pro Bowl following seven consecutive seasons (2007-2013) … Won NFL’s version of the Butkus Award (then in its second year) in 2009, following his best season statistically overall: 152 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles, eight pass deflections and career-bests of three interceptions and 13 tackles for loss … Won the Bill Walsh Award in 2009 as the 49ers’ most valuable player … Contributed 10 tackles in Super Bowl XLVII loss to Baltimore Ravens … Career stats include 20.5 sacks, 60 tackles for loss, eight interceptions and 16 forced fumbles. … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s.

DARREN WOODSON

HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 15
Position: Safety

Ht: 6-1, Wt: 219

NFL Career: 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys

Seasons: 12, Games: 178

College: Arizona State

Drafted: 2nd Round (37th Overall), 1992

Born: April 25, 1969, in Phoenix, Ariz.

Selected in the second round, 37th overall, of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys with a pick obtained as part of the Herschel Walker trade … Earned a spot on the 1992 PFWA All-Rookie Team, appearing in all 19 games for the World Champion Cowboys … A member of three Super Bowl championship teams with Dallas (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX) … Ended his playing career as the Cowboys’ all-time leader in tackles with 1,350 … First-team All-Pro honors four seasons (1994-96, 1998) … Chosen to participate in five Pro Bowls (1994-98) … Elected to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2015 … Finished his 12-year NFL career with 26 interceptions, with two returned for touchdowns … Winner of the 2002 Bart Starr Award, given annually to the NFL player who serves as a positive role model to his family, teammates and community … Finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2003.

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