Nine players in their first year of eligibility were included in the list of 129 modern-era candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
The first-year players, all of whom have now been retired for five years, were offensive tackle Joe Thomas, cornerback Darrelle Revis, running back Chris Johnson, offensive lineman Jahri Evans, defensive lineman Dwight Freeney, NaVorro Bowman, linebacker James Harrison, defensive back Kam Chancellor and punter Shane Lechler.
The Hall of Fame selection committee will vote for 25 semifinalists in November and then for 15 finalists, of whom up to five can be chosen for the Class of 2023. The selection committee will also put four others to an up-or-down vote: coaching finalist Don Coryell and seniors finalists Joe Klecko, Chuck Howley and Ken Riley.
The full list of 129 players is below, with an asterisk* to note the 10 players who were finalists last year but ultimately not voted into the Hall of Fame.
QUARTERBACKS (6): Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Jeff Garcia, Dave Krieg, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair.
RUNNING BACKS (17): Shaun Alexander, Mike Alstott (FB), Tiki Barber, Larry Centers (FB), Corey Dillon, Warrick Dunn, Eddie George, Priest Holmes, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Vonta Leach (FB), Jamal Lewis, Lorenzo Neal (FB), Eric Metcalf (also WR/PR/KR), Fred Taylor, Ricky Watters, Brian Westbrook.
WIDE RECEIVERS (20): Anquan Boldin, Troy Brown (also PR/KR), Donald Driver, Henry Ellard (also PR), Irving Fryar, *Devin Hester (also PR/KR), *Torry Holt, Joe Horn, Chad Johnson, *Andre Johnson, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, Andre Rison, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Steve Smith Sr., Hines Ward, *Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Roddy White.
TIGHT ENDS (3): Dallas Clark, Ben Coates, Wesley Walls.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (21): *Willie Anderson (T), Matt Birk (C), Lomas Brown (T), Ruben Brown (G), Jahri Evans (G), D’Brickashaw Ferguson (T), Kevin Glover (C/G), Jordan Gross (T), Olin Kreutz (C), Nick Mangold (C), Logan Mankins (G), Tom Nalen (C), Nate Newton (G/T), Jeff Saturday (C), Mark Schlereth (G/C), Chris Snee (G), Joe Thomas (T), Brian Waters (G), Richmond Webb (T), Erik Williams (T), Steve Wisniewski (G).
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (14): John Abraham (DE, also LB), *Jared Allen (DE), Dwight Freeney (DE), La’Roi Glover (DT/NT), Casey Hampton (DT/NT), Robert Mathis (DE), Leslie O’Neal (DE), Simeon Rice (DE), Clyde Simmons (DE/DT), Justin Smith (DE), Neil Smith (DE), Justin Tuck (DE), Vince Wilfork (DT/NT), Kevin Williams (DT/DE).
LINEBACKERS (17): Jessie Armstead, Cornelius Bennett, NaVorro Bowman, Lance Briggs, Chad Brown, Tedy Bruschi, James Farrior, London Fletcher, James Harrison, Seth Joyner, Willie McGinest (also DE), Takeo Spikes, Pat Swilling (also DE), *Zach Thomas, *DeMarcus Ware, *Patrick Willis, Al Wilson.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (19): Eric Allen (CB), *Ronde Barber (CB/S), Dre’ Bly (CB), Kam Chancellor (S), Nick Collins (S), Antonio Cromartie (CB), Merton Hanks (S), Rodney Harrison (S), Albert Lewis (CB), Terry McDaniel (CB), Tim McDonald (S), Darrelle Revis (CB), Allen Rossum (CB), Asante Samuel (CB), Bob Sanders (S), Charles Tillman (CB), Troy Vincent (CB), Adrian Wilson (S), Darren Woodson (S).
PUNTERS/KICKERS (10): Gary Anderson (K), Jason Elam (K), Jeff Feagles (P), Jason Hanson (K), John Kasay, (K), Sean Landeta (P), Shane Lechler (P), Ryan Longwell (K), Pat McAfee (P), Matt Turk (P).
SPECIAL TEAMS (2): Josh Cribbs (KR/PR also WR), Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB).