CANTON, Ohio -- Ten first-year eligible players, including defensive standouts DeMarcus Ware and Robert Mathis and receivers Andre Johnson, Steve Smith and Anquan Boldin, are among 122 nominees for the 2022 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Other first-year eligibles are kick returner Devin Hester; offensive linemen Jake Long and Nick Mangold; defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and defensive back Antonio Cromartie.
The list will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and to 15 finalists in January before the selection committee discusses and chooses the class of 2022 that will be enshrined in August.
The roster of nominees consists of 65 offensive players, 46 defensive players and 11 special-teamers.
Finalists from 2021 renominated for next year are wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Torry Holt; tackle Tony Boselli; defensive end Jared Allen; defensive tackle Richard Seymour; linebackers Sam Mills and Zach Thomas; and defensive backs Ronde Barber and LeRoy Butler.
Recently selected as a senior finalist was receiver Cliff Branch. The contributor finalist is former referee and league officiating chief Art McNally. The coach finalist is Dick Vermeil, who won the Super Bowl in 2000 with the Rams.