Three first-year eligible players -- safety Troy Polamalu, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and linebacker Patrick Willis -- are among the 25 semifinalists of modern-era players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2020.
The list also includes four others -- linebacker Carl Banks, running backs Fred Taylor and Ricky Watters, in addition to defensive tackle Bryant Young -- although previously eligible for the Hall of Fame, are semifinalists for the first time. All other players on the 2020 list have been a semifinalist in previous years.
To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated individual must not have participated as an active player for five consecutive seasons.
»*Steve Tasker, ST/WR* -- 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 -- 2004, 2008-2010, 2012-13, 2020)
»*Darren Woodson, S* -- 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 -- 2015, 2017, 2019-2020)
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 Modern-Era players list will be reduced to 15 Finalists that will be announced on Jan. 2, 2020. 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," 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.