from Adam Stites with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
The Pro Football Hall of Fame narrowed its list of modern-era finalists to 15 names, include first-ballot finalists — Andre Johnson, DeMarcus Ware and Devin Hester, it announced Thursday/today.
In January, the Hall of Fame Selection Committee will convene to elect up to five of the finalists, who have to receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent for election. The full list of finalists is as follows:
Jared Allen, DE (Chiefs, Vikings, Bears, Panthers)
William Anderson, OT (Bengals, Ravens)
Ronde Barber, DB (Buccaneers)
Tony Boselli, OT (Jaguars, Texans)
LeRoy Butler, S (Packers)
Devin Hester, WR/RS (Bears, Falcons, Ravens)
Torry Holt, WR (Rams, Jaguars)
Andre Johnson, WR (Texans, Colts, Titans)
Sam Mills, LB (Saints, Panthers)
Richard Seymour, DT/DE (Patriots, Raiders)
Zach Thomas, LB (Dolphins, Cowboys)
DeMarcus Ware, LB/DE (Cowboys, Broncos)
Reggie Wayne, WR (Colts)
Patrick Willis, LB (49ers)
Bryant Young, DT/DE (49ers)
In addition to the 15 modern-era finalists, three more candidates — Dick Vermeil, Art McNally and Cliff Branch — are eligible for induction in the coach, contributor and senior categories, respectively. They will also be subject to a vote from the induction committee in January.
In November, the Hall of Fame narrowed its list of modern-era candidates to 26 semifinalists. The 11 who didn’t make the cut to become finalists includes receivers Steve Smith, Steve Tasker and Hines Ward.