Tony Gonzalez is one step closer to landing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The former Kansas City Chiefs tight end is among 15 finalists for the Hall of Fame, the league announced on Thursday. The list was cut from the initial 25 that was released in November.
Gonzalez is one of three to be named a finalist in their first year of eligibility, joining Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed and Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey.
Longtime San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell and Raiders coach Tom Flores were the two coaches who made the finalist list. Flores coached for the Raiders from 1979-87, where he won two Super Bowls, and for the Seahawks from 1992-94. Coryell compiled 115 career wins in the NFL, coaching for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1973-77 and for the Chargers until 1986.
Isaac Bruce, Edgerrin James, Steve Atwater, Ty Law, John Lynch, Tony Boselli, Kevin Mawae, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson and Richard Seymour round out the list.
Several notable semifinalists did not make the cut, including coach Jimmy Johnson, former Pittsburgh Steelers star Hines Ward, Torry Holt and Clay Matthews.
Safety Johny Robinson, who played for the Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs from 1960-71, was selected as a senior finalist. Former Dallas Cowboys vice president Gil Brandt and current Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen were both selected as contributors finalists. They will be voted on separately from the 15 Modern Era finalists.
The 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will be announced on Feb. 2, the day before Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The list of 15 will be cut to 10 and then to five. The remaining five will then be approved by the Hall of Fame board of selectors, and no more than five finalists are eligible to be inducted in 2019.
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