081005 GREEN BAY:--Falcons defensive end #55 John Abraham comes in low with an all out rush to tackle Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during 2nd half action on historic Lambeau Field, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: CURTIS COMPTON/AJC
Photo: CURTIS COMPTON/AJC

John Abraham among first-year eligible players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Other first-year eligible players include linebacker Lance Briggs, returner Josh Cribbs, running back Maurice Jones-Drews, safety Troy Polamalu, defensive end Justin Smith, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and linebacker Patrick Willis. 

Abraham played 15 seasons (2000-14) in the NFL. He played from 2006-12 with the Falcons and is the team’s career sacks leader, with 68.5. He finished his career with Arizona. 

Abraham, who was drafted by the New York Jets 13th overall,  finished his career with 133.5 sacks. 

He played in 192 games and made 175 starts. 

RELATED: How Abraham is faring in retirement 

A total of 122 players, including eight in their first year of eligibility, comprise the list of Modern Era player nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020. The large list of Modern Era nominees includes only players whose careers ended less than 25 seasons ago. The nominees include 63 offensive players, 43 defensive players, and 16 special-teams players.

Here’s the list: 

Quarterbacks
(7) – Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Boomer Esiason, Jeff Garcia, Jeff Hostetler, Dave Krieg, Donovan McNabb

Running Backs
(19) – Shaun Alexander, Mike Alstott (FB), Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Larry Centers, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Priest Holmes, *Edgerrin James, Daryl Johnston (FB), Thomas Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew, Eric Metcalf (also WR/KR/PR), Lorenzo Neal (FB), Clinton Portis, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker (also KR), Chris Warren, Ricky Watters
Wide Receivers
(12) – *Isaac Bruce, Gary Clark, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard (also PR), Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne

Tight Ends

(6) – Dallas Clark, Ben Coates, Keith Jackson, Brent Jones, Jeremy Shockey, Wesley Walls

Offensive Linemen

(19) – Willie Anderson (T), Matt Birk (C), *Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Ray Donaldson (C), *Alan Faneca (G), Kevin Gogan (G/T), Jordan Gross (T), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), *Steve Hutchinson (G), Lincoln Kennedy (T/G), Olin Kreutz (C), Chris Samuels (T), Jeff Saturday (C), Brian Waters (G), Richmond Webb (T), Erik Williams (T), Steve Wisniewski (G) 

Defensive Linemen
(11) – John Abraham (DE also LB), La’Roi Glover (DT/NT), Casey Hampton (DT/NT), Chester McGlockton (DT), Leslie O’Neal (DE), Simeon Rice (DE), *Richard Seymour (DT), 
Justin Smith (DE), Neil Smith (DE), Greg Townsend (DT/NT), Bryant Young (DT)

Linebackers 

(17) – Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Lance Briggs, Tedy Bruschi, James Farrior, London Fletcher, Seth Joyner, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest (also DE), Sam Mills, Chris Spielman, Takeo Spikes, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas, Jessie Tuggle, Patrick Willis

Defensive Backs

(15) – Eric Allen (CB), *Steve Atwater (S), Ronde Barber (CB/S), LeRoy Butler (S), 

Nick Collins (S), Merton Hanks (S), Rodney Harrison (S), Albert Lewis (CB), *John Lynch (S), Terry McDaniel (CB), Tim McDonald (S), Troy Polamalu (SS), Bob Sanders (S),  Troy Vincent (CB), Darren Woodson (S) 

Punters/Kickers

(11) – David Akers (K), Gary Anderson (K), Jason Elam (K), Jeff Feagles (P), 

Jason Hanson (K), Sean Landeta (P), Ryan Longwell (K), Nick Lowery (K), Reggie Roby (P), Rohn Stark (P), Matt Turk (P)

Special Teams
(5) – Johnny Bailey (PR/KR also RB), Josh Cribbs (KR/PR also WR), Mel Gray (PR/KR also WR), Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB), Steve Tasker (ST also WR) 

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