The News-Times

Hester, Ware, Andre Johnson 1st-year Hall of Fame finalists


DeMarcus Ware, Andre Johnson and Devin Hester, all in their first year of eligibilit­y, are finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2022.

The 15 modern-day players who will be considered on Jan. 18 by the selection committee include tackle Tony Boselli, in his sixth year as a finalist, and defensive lineman Richard Seymour, in his fourth year.

Other finalists announced Thursday are safety Leroy Butler, wide receivers Torry Holt and Reggie Wayne, linebacker­s Sam Mills and Zach Thomas — all finalists for the third time; defensive linemen Jared Allen and Bryant Young, and cornerback Ronde Barber, two-time finalists; and tackle Willie Anderson and linebacker Patrick Willis, their first time in the finals.

A maximum of five modern-day players can be elected for enshrineme­nt in August to the Canton, Ohio, hall. The inductees will be announced on Feb. 10 at NFL Honors, the primetime TV program during which The Associated Press reveals its individual award winners for the 2021 season.

Three others — Dick Vermeil in the coaching category, Art McNally as a contributo­r, and Cliff Branch as a senior player — also are candidates for the class of 2022. Voting on each of those three will be held individual­ly.

Pass-rushing standout Allen was a four-time AllPro who led the NFL in sacks twice (2007, 2011) while playing for the Chiefs, Vikings, Bears and Panthers. The versatile Seymour, a three-time AllPro selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s, played in four Super Bowls for New England.

Barber was one of the league’s stingiest cover cornerback­s during his 26 seasons in Tampa, where he also played some safety.

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