Joe Thomas, Darrelle Revis, Dwight Freeney among HOF finalists

Joe Thomas, Darrelle Revis, Dwight Freeney among HOF finalists

Three first-time inductees and one player who has been waiting 25 years highlight the list of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

Tackle Joe Thomas, a 10-time Pro Bowl selection as well as a six-time first-team All Pro, cornerback Darrelle Revis and defensive end Dwight Freeney are all finalists in their first year of eligibility. Cornerback Albert Lewis, who played his last game in the 1998 season, has waited through the usual five-year post-retirement period to become 20 years eligible to be named a finalist for the first time.

The rest of the finalists for the Class of 2023, announced Wednesday night, are:

Jared Allen, defensive end

Willie Anderson, I handle

Ronde Barber, cornerback

Devin Hester, wide receiver/return

Torry Holt, wide receiver

Andre Johnson, wide receiver

Zach Thomas, linebacker

DeMarcus Ware, tight end/outside linebacker

Reggie Wayne, wide receiver

Patrick Willis, linebacker

Darren Woodson, safety

Of that group, only Woodson was not a finalist last year, and Holt has now been a finalist four times.

The Hall of Fame Board of Selectors will meet in the coming weeks to select a maximum of five modern-era finalists for enshrinement. The Class of 2023 will be announced Feb. 9 during the NFL Honors show, three days before the Super Bowl.

Ken Riley, Chuck Howley and Joe Klecko are the senior committee finalists and Don Coryell is the coaches/contributors committee finalist. Those four will be voted on a yes or no basis.

The enshrinement ceremony will take place in August at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Joe Thomas is the most decorated player among this year’s finalists, with his 10 Pro Bowls tied for eighth-most by an offensive lineman. But in Thomas’ 11 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, the team missed the playoffs and finished with a winning record just once — 10-6 in 2007, his rookie year after being drafted third overall.

Among other eligible first-year players, Freeney was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time first-team All Pro who was part of the Indianapolis Colts’ Super Bowl XLI-winning team to end the 2006 season. He also led the NFL in 2004.

Revis, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time first-team All Pro whose skills earned the name “Revis Island,” played for four teams in his 11-year career. Drafted No. 14 overall by the Jets in 2007, he played eight of his seasons in New York over two stints with the franchise. He also won a Super Bowl with the 2014 New England Patriots.

If one or both of Thomas and Revis are inducted into the Hall’s class of 2023, they would join wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the No. 2 pick by the Detroit Lions in 2007, as Hall of Famers among the 14 selections. money in that draft.

Of all the finalists, none has been expected more than Lewis, who is in his final year of eligibility as a player of the modern era. Lewis, who played 16 seasons (11 with the Kansas City Chiefs and five with the Raiders), finished his career with 42 interceptions.

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