The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced the finalists for the Class of 2019. Among the modern era are finalists in their first year of eligibility. Tight end Tony Gonzalez, Safety Ed Reed, and Cornerback Champ Bailey all have the possibility of being first-ballot Hall of Famers.
Tony Gonzalez, a 14-time Pro Bowler, spent twelve years with the Kansas City Chiefs and five with the Atlanta Falcons. The 6-time All-Pro amassed 1,325 catches for 15,127 yards, ranking 2nd and 6th all-time, respectively. His 111 career touchdown receptions place him at number 8 on the list.
Ed Reed logged eleven years as the Baltimore Ravens’ premier Safety. He earned Pro Bowl status 9 times and is a 5-time All-Pro. The 64 career interceptions he accumulated rank as 7th in the history of the NFL. The prolific safety also scored a number 5 ranked 13 non-offensive touchdowns. He also intercepted a pass in the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII victory over the 49ers.
Cornerback Champ Bailey spent his first five years with the Washington Redskins where he earned four of his 12 Pro Bowl Trips. However, Champ’s career really took flight when he was traded to the Denver Broncos where he accomplished 3 All-Pro seasons. Bailey captured 52 interceptions during his career and his 203 Passes Defended are ranked number one since the stat has been calculated starting in 1999.
The three first-time eligible players may very well be among the five that will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio. Other modern era finalists announced Thursday were:
Running back Edgerrin James
Wide receiver Isaac Bruce
Cornerback Ty Law
Safety Steve Atwater
Safety John Lynch
Defensive lineman Richard Seymour
Offensive lineman Tony Boselli
Offensive lineman Alan Faneca
Offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson
Offensive lineman Kevin Mawae
and coaches Don Coryell and Tom Flores
Three previously announced finalists announced by the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 23rd, 2018, Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt (contributors) and Johnny Robinson (seniors finalist) will be voted on by the Board of Selectors separately on a “yes” or “no” ballot. The Board of Selectors will meet the day before the Super Bowl in Atlanta to narrow the list down until they have chosen the player that will represent the Hall of Fame class of 2019.
All statistic courtesy of Pro Football Reference
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