The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its list of modern-era nominees for the upcoming Class of 2023 on Tuesday. A total of 129 players are in consideration for the highest individual honor in the sport, including several former members of the New England Patriots.
A total of 24 players who at one point signed a deal with the team have made the cut, a share of 18.6 percent of all nominees. While “only” 21 of them actually appeared in at least one game for the club, the number is still impressive and a nice stroll down memory lane.
WR Troy Brown, FB Larry Centers, TE Ben Coates, RB Corey Dillon, WR Henry Ellard, WR Irving Fryar, WR Torry Holt*, RB Steven Jackson, WR Chad Johnson, G Logan Mankins, RB Fred Taylor, G Brian Waters, WR Reggie Wayne*, WR Wes Welker
*offseason member only
While some of the nominees like Henry Ellard or Chad Johnson played comparatively little roles during their short stints with the team, the list does include some of the biggest names in franchise history. Troy Brown and Ben Coates are both members of the Patriots Hall of Fame, while players such as Irving Fryar, Logan Mankins and Wes Welker had productive multi-year tenures in New England.
Out of the group, Mankins might have the best odds of advancing to the subsequent rounds. He is a member of the NFL’s Team of the 2010s and has numerous individual accolades to build his case on despite never winning a Super Bowl. Corey Dillon and Fred Taylor also seem to have solid cases based on the fact that they are members of the NFL’s 10,000-yard rushing club; Welker’s had some immense output in New England and Denver.
LB Chad Brown, LB Tedy Bruschi, LB James Harrison, S Rodney Harrison, LB Willie McGinest, CB Darrelle Revis, CB Asante Samuel, DT Vince Wilfork, S Adrian Wilson*
*offseason member only
The list of defensive nominees includes some of the cornerstones of the Patriots’ dynasty: Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest and Rodney Harrison all helped bring multiple Super Bowls to New England in the early 2000s and are also members of the Patriots Hall of Fame. Joining them is Vince Wilfork, who won a pair of rings as well and will join Bruschi and Co. in the team Hall of Fame later this week.
Two first-time nominees, who spent time in New England, are on the list as well: linebacker James Harrison had a short stint with the team in 2017, while Darrelle Revis won a Super Bowl during his lone year as a Patriot in 2014.
Special teams nominees
P Jeff Feagles
An undrafted rookie in 1988, Feagles played the first 32 of his 363 career games in New England. His stint with the team was a comparatively short one, but it did give him his start in the NFL.
Feagles and the other 23 ex-Patriots listed here will get to know their Hall of Fame fate in November. The group will be reduced to 25 semifinalists that month and further cut down to 15 finalists in early January.
Those 15 modern-era finalists will then join recently named senior/contributor finalists Joe Klecko, Chuck Howley and Ken Riley and Don Coryell to form the players to get voted on by the 49-member selection panel. Between four and nine men will then be announced as the 2023 Hall of Fame class on the eve of Super Bowl LVII.