The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 will be chosen by the Hall’s Board of Selectors on Saturday in Houston.
The class could include one seniors nominee, two contributor nominees and up to five modern-era finalists. The seniors nominee and contributor nominees are voted on separately from the modern-era finalists and are considered on a yes-or-no basis.
On Saturday, the list of modern-era finalists will be trimmed to 10 and then to five during the Board of Selectors meeting. The remaining five finalists will then be chosen on a yes-or-no basis.
The finalists for the class of 2017:
Safety, 1981-1987, Seattle Seahawks
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Easley saw his career cut short by kidney problems. He was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1984 and was selected to the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1980s. A safety with a full résumé as a tackler, he had 32 interceptions in 89 career games, including a seven-interception season in 1983.
Owner, president and general manager, 1989-present, Dallas Cowboys
His teams have won 10 division titles, including this past season, during his tenure, with three Super Bowl wins. Jones is a leading voice among the league’s power brokers, and he consistently has pushed the NFL's efforts off the field in terms of marketing and global reach, even if it has been against the current at times.
NFL commissioner, 1989-2006
After 20 years working with the league as an attorney, Tagliabue’s tenure as the NFL’s highest ranking official was marked by extended labor peace, some franchise moves, stadium struggles in California and an enormous, league-changing increase in TV revenues in billions of dollars.
Kicker, 1982-1994, New Orleans Saints; 1995-2000, 2006-2007, Atlanta Falcons; 2001, New York Giants; 2002-2003, Kansas City Chiefs; 2004 Minnesota Vikings
Andersen was named to the All-Decade teams of the 1980s and 1990s. He remains the league’s all-time scoring leader with 2,544 points, and the league’s all-time leader in games played at 382. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection.
Tackle, 1995-2001, Jacksonville Jaguars
His career was cut short by shoulder injuries, but Boselli was a five-time Pro Bowl selection in his seven seasons and is the first HOF finalist who played his entire career with the Jaguars.
Wide receiver, 1994-2007, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams; 2008-2009, San Francisco 49ers
At the time of his retirement, Bruce was second in league history in receiving yards (15,208). He had three 200-yard receiving games during his career. He was the first player in NFL history to have at least 170 yards receiving in three consecutive games, and he finished his career with eight 1,000-yard seasons.
Coach, 1974-1977, St. Louis Cardinals; 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
His influence on offenses can still be seen throughout the NFL. Coryell was the league’s Coach of the Year in 1974 and a noted tinkerer in formations and concepts. His numbering system to call plays turned into an offense that repeatedly vexed defenses and churned out the points for “Air Coryell."
Running back, 1995-2001, Denver Broncos
In a career cut short by knee injuries, Davis is one of two backs in league history -- Jim Brown is the other -- to average more than 100 yards rushing per game in the regular season and postseason combined. He won a league MVP award (1998) and Super Bowl MVP award (Super Bowl XXXII) and remains the Broncos’ all-time leading rusher.
Safety, 1996-2008, Philadelphia Eagles; 2009-2011, Denver Broncos
Dawkins was an alpha player for an Eagles team that advanced to four consecutive NFC Championship games and played in Super Bowl XXXIX. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls and was a rare defensive player who finished his career with at least 35 interceptions and at least 20 sacks.
Guard, 1998-2007, Pittsburgh Steelers; 2008-2009 New York Jets; 2010, Arizona Cardinals
This is the second time Faneca has been a finalist for the Hall of Fame. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and was named to the All-Decade team of the 2000s. Faneca helped pave the way for four of Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis’ 1,000-yard seasons, three 1,000-yard seasons for Willie Parker and two for Thomas Jones.
Tackle, 1981-1993, Washington Redskins
Jacoby has been a finalist for two consecutive seasons. Part of the fabled “Hogs" who powered the Redskins’ offense of Joe Gibbs, Jacoby was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. The Redskins finished among the league’s top nine offenses 10 times in Jacoby’s career and in the league's top four four times, and the team won three Super Bowls during his career.
Cornerback, 1995-2004, New England Patriots; 2005, 2008, New York Jets; 2006-2007, Kansas City Chiefs; 2009, Denver Broncos
Law was a five-time Pro Bowl selection who played for three Patriots teams that won the Super Bowl. A 14-year starter at cornerback, he finished his career with 53 interceptions, the same total as Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, with six interceptions in the postseason.
Safety, 1993-2003, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 2004-2007, Denver Broncos
A ferocious tackler who had the attention of the league office at times, Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection. Four of those selections came in his four seasons with the Broncos after he had neck surgery after his final season in Tampa. Hall of Famer Tony Dungy has called Lynch the prototype at the position in Dungy’s Tampa-2 defense. Lynch was recently hired at the 49ers' general manager.
Center/guard, 1994-1997, Seattle Seahawks; 1998-2005, New York Jets; 2006-2009, Tennessee Titans
This is Mawae’s first time as a finalist. In eight of his 16 seasons, his offenses finished in the league top-five in rushing. Bill Parcells has said Mawae could simply consistently move, pull and make blocks other centers couldn’t make. He was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection.
Wide receiver, 1996-2003, San Francisco 49ers; 2004-2005, Philadelphia Eagles; 2006-2008, Dallas Cowboys; 2009, Buffalo Bills; 2010, Cincinnati Bengals
A sometimes polarizing player in the public eye, on the field Owens had five 1,200-yard receiving seasons during his career. At the time of his retirement, he was second all-time in receiving yards (15,934), and he’s still third all-time in career touchdown catches (153).
Defensive end, 1997-2007, 2009, Miami Dolphins; 2008 Washington Redskins; 2010 New York Jets
Taylor, a finalist in his first year of eligibility for the HOF, is seventh all-time in sacks with 139.5 and finished his career with six seasons with at least 10 sacks. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and was the league sack leader in 2002, with 18.5. He was voted to the league’s All-Decade team of the 2000s.
Running back, 2001-2009, San Diego Chargers; 2010-2011, New York Jets
Tomlinson is also a finalist in his first year of HOF eligibility. He was a four-time first-team All-Pro selection, was selected to five Pro Bowls and had seven seasons in which he rushed for at least 1,200 yards to go with at least 52 receptions.
Quarterback, 1998-2003, St. Louis Rams; 2004 New York Giants; 2005-2009, Arizona Cardinals
His improbable rise from the aisles of a Hy-Vee grocery store, to the Arena league, to Super Bowl MVP, is stuff of fairy tale. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection with three seasons of at least 30 touchdown passes. Behind center for the "Greatest Show on Turf," Warner was a two-time league MVP, and he threw for a Super Bowl-record 414 yards in the Rams’ win in Super Bowl XXXIV.