CANTON, OHIO– Eight first-year eligible candidates are among 26 Modern-Era semifinalists being considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2015. The Hall of Fame's Selection Committee chose the semifinalists from a previously announced list of 113 nominees. Although Hall of Fame bylaws call for the selection of 25 semifinalists they also provide that the semifinalist list include all ties for the twenty-fifth position, as has occurred this year.
The first-year nominees among the semifinalists include quarterback Kurt Warner, wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, running back Edgerrin James, offensive linemen Kevin Mawae and Orlando Pace, linebacker Junior Seau, and cornerback back Ty Law.
Two other players, tackle Mike Kenn and safety Darren Woodson, are semifinalists for the first time. All other individuals on the list have been a semifinalist at least once in previous years.
The selection process is an integral element of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Mission to Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values and Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE.
Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
The list of 26 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 Modern-Era Finalists. That list increases to 18 finalists with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame's Contributors Committee and one finalist as selected by the Seniors Committee.
The Contributor Finalists are former longtime general managers and team executives Bill Polian and Ron Wolf. Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff (1962-1978)* *is the 2015 Seniors Finalist. Polian, Wolf, and Tingelhoff will be voted on separately and, like all other finalists, must receive 80% positive vote from the full selection committee during the annual selection meeting on January 31, 2015. The results of the Modern-Era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced during a one-hour special on NFL Network on Thursday, January 8 at 9 p.m. ET.
To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated player or coach must not have participated as an active player or coach for five consecutive seasons. Although there is no set number of enshrinees for any Hall of Fame Class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's current ground rules stipulate that between four and eight new members will be selected each year. No more than five Modern-Era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six, seven, or eight can only be achieved if one or more of the Contributor and Seniors Finalists are elected. The Class of 2015 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting on Saturday, January 31, 2015 in Phoenix, Ariz., the day before Super Bowl XLIX.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 will be announced during "4th Annual NFL Honors," a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally that evening from 9-11 p.m. (ET) on NBC. "NFL Honors" will be taped earlier that evening at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Ariz. from 8-10 p.m. (ET) when the 2015 Hall of Fame class will be introduced for the first time. In addition, the NFL and The Associated Press will announce their annual accolades in this awards show with the winners on hand to accept their awards.
The Class of 2015 will be officially enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio as the main event of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Annual Enshrinement Festival Celebration.