The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the list of 28 semifinalists who will continue to be considered for election to the Hall next year.
The group includes five candidates who are in their first year of eligibility. Cornerback Darrelle Revis, tackle Joe Thomas, defensive end Dwight Freeney, linebacker James Harrison, and guard Jahri Evans have made it through this round.
Nineteen players return to the list after being semifinalists last year. Wide receiver Henry Ellard and linebacker London Fletcher are semifinalists for the first time. Safety Rodney Harrison returns after being a semifinalist for election in 2021 and cornerback Albert Lewis is a semifinalist for the first time since 2013. It is the final year of eligibility for Ellard and Lewis as modern-era candidates.
The other semifinalists are cornerback Eric Allen, defensive end Jared Allen, tackle Willie Anderson, defensive back Ronde Barber, wide receiver Anquan Boldin, kick returner Devin Hester, wide receiver Torry Holt, wide receiver Andre Johnson, edge rusher Robert Mathis, wide receiver Steve Smith, running back Fred Taylor, linebacker Zach Thomas, wide receiver Hines Ward, edge rusher DeMarcus Ware, running back Ricky Watters, wide receiver Reggie Wayne, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, linebacker Patrick Willis, and safety Darren Woodson.
The group will be pared down to 15 finalists before the final voting takes place for next year’s class. After a vote of the Hall’s selection committee cuts that group to 10 players, a final ballot is cast and a maximum of five players can be elected with at least 80 percent of those votes.