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15 former Patriots among initial 122 nominees for the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class

Related: 2020 could be Patriots legend Gino Cappelletti’s best shot yet to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame

New York Jets vs New England Patriots

The 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class — one that included former New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law — was enshrined only a little more than a month ago, but the attention is already turning towards the next year: on Thursday, the initial modern era nominees for the Hall of Fame’s 2020 class were announced. Among the 122 men listed, 15 have suited up for the Patriots at one point in their respective careers.

Let’s take a look at them:

RB Corey Dillon

FB Larry Centers

RB Fred Taylor

WR Chad Johnson

WR Henry Ellard

WR Torry Holt*

WR Reggie Wayne*

TE Ben Coates

OG Brian Waters

DT Richard Seymour

LB Tedy Bruschi

LB Willie McGinest

DB Rodney Harrison

DB John Lynch*

P Jeff Feagles

*did not play in a game for the Patriots

The list of Patriots up for Pro Football Hall of Fame nomination next year includes a wide variety of players: from franchise greats such as Ben Coates, Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest and Rodney Harrison, to short-tenured players such as Chad Johnson or Larry Centers, to comparative footnotes in team history like Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne and John Lynch (who only were with New England during the offseason).

Realistically speaking, Richard Seymour and Lynch appear to have the best chances of entering the Hall of Fame in 2020 after both were already finalists earlier this year. Of course, two two — just like the others listed above — will face some stiff competition. Troy Polamalu and Patrick Willis, for example, are in their first year of eligibility and appear to have very good cases to grab one or two of the five available spots.

To get to five, the list of 122 initial nominees will be reduced over the next few months. It will be cut to 25 in November, before being trimmed down further — to 15 — in January. Of those 15 finalists, five will remain standing and enter the Hall of Fame alongside 15 other men: in honor of the NFL’s centennial, 10 seniors, three contributors, and two coaches will also get enshrined next August.