15 Modern-Era Player Finalists Announced for Class of 2022

Enshrinement Published on : 12/30/2021

Fifteen elite athletes have reached the doorstep of enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the announcement today of the Finalists in the Modern-Era Player category for the Hall’s Class of 2022.

Comprising the Modern-Era list of candidates are three players in their first year of eligibility, two players previously eligible but Finalists for the first time and 10 players who at least one other time have reached this stage in the Selection Process.

The full slate of Modern-Era Player candidates will be considered when the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee meets virtually Jan. 18, 2022. 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
  • Tony Boselli, Offensive Tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve)
  • LeRoy Butler, Safety – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers
  • 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
  • Sam Mills, Linebacker – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers
  • Richard Seymour, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders
  • 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
  • Bryant Young, Defensive Tackle/Defensive End – 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers

The Selection Committee may elect up to five Modern-Era Players for the Class of 2022; each must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent for election. Three others — Dick Vermeil, Art McNally and Cliff Branch, the finalists in the Coach, Contributor and Senior categories, respectively — also are candidates for the Class of 2022. Voting on each of those three will be held individually, in conjunction with the meeting to decide the Modern-Era Players.

The Modern-Era Player Finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee from a list of 123 nominees named in September that was reduced to 26 Semifinalists on Nov. 24.


Times As Finalist | Years of Eligibility | Finalist Bios | NFL Honors

Ford HOF Fan Vote | Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls






Jared Allen



Willie Anderson



Ronde Barber



Tony Boselli



LeRoy Butler



Devin Hester



Torry Holt



Andre Johnson



Sam Mills



Richard Seymour



Zach Thomas



DeMarcus Ware



Reggie Wayne



Patrick Willis



Bryant Young


2020, 2022



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

Year of Eligibility



Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, DeMarcus Ware


Jared Allen


Reggie Wayne, Patrick Willis


Ronde Barber, Richard Seymour


Torry Holt


Willie Anderson, Zach Thomas


Bryant Young


Tony Boselli, LeRoy Butler


Sam Mills





HOF Finalist: 2 | Year of Eligibility: 2
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.



HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 9
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, Alabama

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 League … 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.



HOF Finalist: 2 | Year of Eligibility: 5
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, Virginia

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.



HOF Finalist: 6 | Year of Eligibility: 16
Position: Tackle

Ht: 6-7, Wt: 324

NFL Career: 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars

Seasons: 7, Games: 91

College: Southern California

Drafted: 1st Round (2nd Overall), 1995

Born: April 17, 1972 in Modesto, California

Quickly became face of the expansion franchise … Sat out rookie training camp with knee injury, saw first action in Week 4 … First career start came following week in franchise’s first victory … Earned All-Rookie honors … Regarded as an elite tackle in the NFL during career … Noted for superb foot speed and agility … Persevered through numerous injuries … Leader of team that led expansion Jaguars to AFC championship game by second season … Anchored offensive line that helped team to four straight playoff appearances with records of 9-7, 11-5, 11-5 and 14-2 from 1996-99 … Picked as team’s Most Valuable Player in 1998 after helping Jaguars to team’s first division title …  Voted to five straight Pro Bowls (1997-2001) … Named First-Team All-Pro three consecutive seasons … Selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s despite only playing in half of the decade … Suffered severe shoulder injury that ultimately ended career and was placed on injured reserve after three games, 2001 … Houston Texans’ first pick of 2002 expansion draft but injury prevented him from playing again.



HOF Finalist: 3 | Year of Eligibility: 16
Position: Safety

Ht: 6-0, Wt: 197

NFL Career: 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers

Seasons: 12, Games: 181

College: Florida State

Drafted: 2nd Round (48th Overall), 1990

Born: July 19, 1968 in Jacksonville, Florida

One of the most prolific defensive backs in the Packers’ storied history and among premier safeties of his era … Led the team in interceptions five times … Key member of defense that guided team’s resurgence that included seven playoff appearances in nine-season span … Helped lead Packers to three straight division titles (1995-97) and two Super Bowl appearances … Started at strong safety in three consecutive NFC Championship Games and Super Bowls XXXI and XXXII … Had seven tackles and one sack in Packers’ 35-21 victory over New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI …  Intercepted a pass in every season but his last … Career stats: 38 interceptions for 533 yards … Only pick-six came on 90-yard return versus San Diego Chargers, Sept. 15, 1996 … Registered 20.5 career sacks and one fumble recovery for a TD … Selected to four Pro Bowls … All-Pro four times (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998) … Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.



HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 1
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, Florida

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 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.



HOF Finalist: 3 | Year of Eligibility: 8
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, North Carolina

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.



HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 1
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, Florida

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).


HOF Finalist: 3 | Year of Eligibility: 20
Position: Linebacker

Ht: 5-9, Wt: 229

NFL Career: 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers

Seasons: 12, Games: 181

College: Montclair State

Undrafted. Signed by New Orleans Saints in 1986 after playing three seasons in USFL

Born: June 3, 1959 in Neptune, New Jersey
Died: April 18, 2005.

Played three seasons in USFL before league folded, then signed with Saints in 1986 … Quickly became starter and team leader … Earned first Pro Bowl nod in second season … Led defense that helped Saints establish sustained success for first time in franchise history … During his tenure in New Orleans, the team made four playoff appearances …  Signed with expansion Carolina Panthers as unrestricted free agent in 1995 … Key member of defense that helped Panthers claim division title and NFC Championship Game appearance in second season … Recorded five tackles and nine assists and one interception in the 1996 NFC Championship Game … Perennial team leader in tackles for Saints (five seasons) and Panthers (twice) … Named All-Pro and All-NFC three times (1991, 1992, 1996) … Voted to five Pro Bowls … Career statistics include 11 interceptions returned for 119 yards and a TD and three fumble recoveries for touchdowns.



HOF Finalist: 4 | Year of Eligibility: 5
Position: Defensive End/Defensive Tackle

Ht: 6-6, Wt: 317

NFL Career: 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders

Seasons: 12, Games: 164

College: Georgia

Drafted: 1st Round (6th Overall), 2001

Born: Oct. 6, 1979 in Gadsden, South Carolina

Integral member of defense that helped Patriots to six division titles over seven-season span … Patriots teams posted 10 or more wins seven times during his eight seasons with team … Led Patriots in sacks twice (2002, 2008) … Registered a career-high 8 sacks in 2008 … Amassed 57.5 career sacks … Recorded 3 or more sacks in every season but one … In games in which he recorded a sack, teams had a record of 46-8 (.852) … Returned fumble a franchise-record 68 yards for TD against Buffalo Bills on Oct. 3, 2004 … Recorded 39 passes defensed, two interceptions in career … Played in four AFC Championship Games and four Super Bowls, including victories in Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX … Selected first team All-Pro three consecutive seasons (2003-05) and second team twice (2006, 2011) … All-AFC five times … Voted to seven Pro Bowls … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.



HOF Finalist: 3 | Year of Eligibility: 9
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, 1 TD 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.



HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 1
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 TD and also returned two fumbles for TDs … Still holds the Cowboy’s career sack record, 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.  



HOF Finalist: 3 | Year of Eligibility: 3
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 TD 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.



HOF Finalist: 1 | Year of Eligibility: 3
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.



HOF Finalist: 2 | Year of Eligibility: 10
Position: Defensive Tackle/Defensive End

Ht: 6-3, Wt: 291

NFL Career: 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers

Seasons: 14, Games: 208

College: Notre Dame

Drafted: 1st Round (7th Overall), 1994

Born: January 27, 1972 in Chicago Heights, Illinois

Highly touted draft pick earned All-Rookie honors … Amassed 89.5 career sacks … Registered multiple sacks in each of his 14 seasons … Recorded double-digit sack totals in a season twice (11.5 in 1996 and 11.0 in 1999) …Made NFL record-tying two safeties in a season, 1996 … Recovered from broken leg to earn 1999 NFL Comeback Player of the Year after finishing with 42 tackles, three passes defensed, 20 QB pressures and team-leading 11 sacks, 15 tackles for a loss and one safety … Started in two NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl … Recorded three tackles, two assisted tackles and one pass defensed in 49ers’ win over Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX … Won team’s esteemed Len Eshmont Award for “inspirational and courageous play” eight times; no other member of 49ers organization has won it more than twice … First-team All-Pro twice (1996, 1998) … Voted to four Pro Bowls … Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.


The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 will be introduced during the broadcast of the 11th annual “NFL Honors” show, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally at 9 p.m. ET on Feb. 10, 2022 in advance of Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. In addition, the NFL and The Associated Press will announce their annual accolades during the broadcast, which will air on ABC with simulcasts on ESPN and NFL Network.



The annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Vote presented by Ford continues since its launch in September. Fans can vote as many times as they wish at www.profootballhof.com/fanvote to predict the (up to) five Modern-Era Players who will be elected to the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2022. Fans who vote automatically become eligible for several sweepstakes prizes, including a Grand Prize trip for two (2) to the 2022 Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls in Canton.

This marks the 12th consecutive year that Ford, the Official Automobile of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has invited fans to predict the outcome of the annual Hall of Fame class. More than 25 million votes have been cast in the past 11 years.


The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 will be enshrined in Canton next August. (Dates are tentative.)

The 2022 Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls will include:

  • Aug. 4: Annual Hall of Fame Game (Teams to be determined)
  • Aug. 5: Gold Jacket Ceremony
  • Aug. 6: Enshrinement of Class of 2022
  • Aug. 7: Concert for Legends. (Artists to be determined)

For more information, visit https://www.profootballhof.com/enshrinement/

Official Ticket Packages for the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls are on sale from Hall of Fame Experiences. Head to www.HOFExperiences.com to secure your spot to see the Class of 2022 enshrined. Ticket packages also can be obtained by calling 844-751-0532. Packages range from single-day offerings to four-day experiences that include premium seating, VIP access, exclusive parties and more.

Individual tickets for the Class of 2022 Enshrinement, Gold Jacket Ceremony and Concert for Legends will go on sale in the spring.