Tony Boselli, Edgerrin James, Tony Gonzalez and John Lynch amongst 15 Finalists
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 15 Finalists were announced, giving these former stars one step closer to being enshrined in Canton Ohio. The list includes five first-time candidates, including cornerback Champ Bailey, tight end Tony Gonzalez, defensive end Richard Seymour and safety Ed Reed. The list has been narrowed down from 25 modern-era semifinalists.
The Hall of Fame selection committee will narrow the list to 10 and then five finalists. Those five finalists are voted on by the committee, and a player must receive at least 80% “yes” votes to make it into the Hall of Fame.
Former Jacksonville Jaguar Tony Boselli just missed the vote last year along with Former Tampa Bay Buc John Lynch, and this year, it looks like a Tougher matchup to get in.
Lynch and linebacker Derrick Brooks were both first-time finalists in 2014 and Brooks was voted in that year. Defensive tackle Warren Sapp was inducted in 2013, also in his first year eligible, and defensive end Lee Roy Selmon was part of the Class of 1995. Other Hall of Famers who have ties to the Buccaneers include Tony Dungy, the team’s head coach from 1996-2001, quarterback Steve Young and guard Randall McDaniel.
Like Brooks and Sapp, Lynch was a key figure in the Buccaneers’ run to the Super Bowl XXXVII championship. Lynch played 11 seasons for Tampa Bay (1993-2003) before finishing his career with four years in Denver.
Lynch’s 11-year Buccaneer tenure began when he was drafted in the third round in 1993. He was named to the Pro Bowl following nine of his 14 seasons, including the last four in Denver. He is one of just four players in the Super Bowl era who has nine Pro Bowl selections and has yet to be elected to the Hall of Fame despite being eligible prior to this year.
Lynch was first eligible for the Hall in 2013, when he was named a semifinalist. The following year he advanced to the finalist stage and has repeated that step every year since. In recent years, Hall of Fame voters have found a way to end the wait for a number of players who had been repeat finalists. In fact, of the 17 players who were finalists in 2014, Lynch’s first year among that group, he is the only one who has not subsequently earned a bust in Canton.
The Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet on Saturday, February 4, the eve of Super Bowl LII, to choose up to five modern era players or coaches for induction in 2018.