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Andre Johnson, Steve Smith among Hall of Fame semifinalists

11/24/2021 6:27:05 PM
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Seven first-time eligible former players, including wide receivers Andre Johnson, Steve Smith and Anquan Boldin, are among 26 modern day semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2022, The Associated Press reports.

Joining them as candidates for induction next year are outstanding kick returner Devin Hester; pass-rushing standouts Robert Mathis and DeMarcus Ware; and run-stuffing defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Each last played in the 2016 season.

Other semifinalists include 17 former players who made it that far this year, plus running backs Eddie George, who retired following the 2004 season, and Ricky Watters, who retired in 2001, and made the list for a second time.

Repeaters from the '21 semifinals are cornerback Eric Allen, defensive end Jared Allen, offensive tackle Willie Anderson, CB Ronde Barber, OT Tony Boselli, safety LeRoy Butler, receiver Torry Holt, linebacker Sam Mills, DT Richard Seymour, WR-special teamer Steve Tasker, running back Fred Taylor, LB Zach Thomas, WRs Hines Ward and Reggie Wayne, LB Patrick Willis, S Darren Woodson, and DT Bryant Young.

Repeat finalists from 2021 who were not elected for that class include Barber, Boselli, Butler, Holt, Wayne, Jared Allen, Seymour, Thomas and Mills.

The 26 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 finalists before the final voting process in January.

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