The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 122 modern-era nominees for the class of 2022 on Wednesday, and former New England Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork stands in the trenches in his first year of eligibility.
The No. 21 overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft played 11 campaigns with New England after arriving out of the University of Miami. Along the way arrived two Super Bowl victories, five Pro Bowls, four combined All-Pro selections and a place on the franchise’s 50th anniversary roster.
One of 10 first-year nominees for Canton, Wilfork signed a one-day contract in August 2017 to retire a Patriot after playing his final snaps with the Houston Texans. Wilfork had served as a seven-time team captain during his New England tenure. He started 148 games across his regular seasons. In the process, 517 tackles, 16 sacks, five forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries, three interceptions and a touchdown were accrued.
Patriots Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Seymour, a finalist in each of the past three classes, has again been nominated. As have an additional 17 players who previously spent varying degrees of time in Foxborough.
On offense, that list includes Corey Dillon, Fred Taylor, Steven Jackson, Larry Centers, Ben Coates, Troy Brown, Wes Welker, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Logan Mankins and Brian Waters. On defense, it continues with Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Asante Samuel, Rodney Harrison and Adrian Wilson.
The modern-era nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in January before being presented to the selection committee leading up to Super Bowl LVI. Enshrinement will follow next August.