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The 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees include 11 former Patriots players

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With some obvious choices and a few you may have forgotten suited up for New England, the Patriots have 11 former players nominated for Hall of Fame voting this year.

Patriots Media Day Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Here’s a smidge of good news while the Patriots are going through what we can only assume is basically Hell Week: finally, the all-stars of the Patriots dynasty years are eligible to be nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A few of these guys got drafted in the Bill Parcells/Pete Carroll era, and one of them, as the story goes, even rode the bench and got stuck on special teams for a while before a position change made him a legend and a three-time Super Bowl champion. There’s also one that left the game right before the Belichick era really got rolling, and if you think about the jerseys you saw in New England-area schools in the 90s, you probably already have a good idea who it is.

(No, not Bledsoe)

On the other hand, there’s also a few guys on here that, while undeniably are some of the best to ever do it, had, let’s say, less than distinguished stays in New England, frequently because they were some of Belichick’s classic “let’s see if they’ve got anything left in the tank” wild-cards.

Let’s get to it! Check out this list from NESN’s Doug Kyed:

For those of you who may not recognize a few of those, here they are, in order, along with their Patriots years next to them:

Corey Dillon, running back (2004 - 2006)

Fred Taylor, running back (2009 - 2010)

Chad Johnson, wide receiver (2011 - 2011...pun intended)

Randy Moss, wide receiver (2007 - 2010)

Ben Coates, tight end (1991-1999)

Richard Seymour, defensive end/defensive tackle (2001-2008)

Tedy Bruschi, linebacker (1996-2008)

Willie McGinest, linebacker/defensive end (1994 - 2005)

Rodney Harrison, safety (2003 - 2008)

Ty Law, cornerback (1995 - 2004)

Our fearless leader Rich Hill also correctly pointed out that current 49ers GM and former Tampa Bay Buc and Denver Bronco safety John Lynch ended his career in New England, and by “ended”, we mean he was signed on August 13th, 2008, and got released on September 1st, 2008. Lynch never played a regular season snap for the Patriots, but hey, still counts, by our math.

Also, there’s this: one of the greatest should-have-been-a-Patriot players of all time, the man who smoked the Patriots for a 39-yard touchdown bomb in Super Bowl XXXVIII, one of the toughest wideouts to ever play the game, all-time Panther and Raven Steve Smith...

...Wait, scratch that.

Some clown fan apparently wrote in former Giants WR Steve Smith for this year’s Hall nomination, since Steve Smith Sr. (the good one) isn’t eligible.

Back to the Patriots nominees: a few of them just became eligible this year. You probably already heard that this was Randy Moss’s first year of eligibility, and it’s also Richard Seymour’s first time on the ballot, which may be an interesting case study in how the Hall views D-linemen that get moved around all over the line. John Lynch and Ty Law were both finalists in last year’s voting, so while how everyone votes is anyone’s guess, Ty Law more or less ruining Peyton Manning’s early playoff career would be quite the delightful turn of events for New England.

You’ll have to wait a while to find out, though - these 108 nominees get whittled down to 18 in February 2018, and then the Selection Committee gets to work with the final cut after that.

Fortunately, there’s real football to be played in the meantime, and the Patriots are heading down to New Orleans to play a Saints team that just finished letting Sam Bradford throw on them like it was a Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl. Ah, fall is great, isn’t it?