Former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (right, with Matt Ryan).
Photo: Mark Bradley/Mark Bradley blog
Photo: Mark Bradley/Mark Bradley blog

Champ Bailey, Tony Gonzalez named Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalists

Richard Seymour, Hines Ward made the list, too

Also, former Baltimore safety Ed Reed, another first-year eligible player, was named to the group of 25 semifinalists. 

Two others – coach Tom Flores and linebacker Zach Thomas – although previously eligible for the Hall of Fame, are semifinalists for the first time. All other individuals on the 2019 list have been a semifinalist in previous years. 

Former Falcons linebacker Clay Matthews was also named to the list. He played for the Falcons from 1994 to 1996 and spent most of his career with the Cleveland Browns.

Richard Seymour and Hines Ward, who both played at Georgia, were named  semifinalists. Kevin Mawae, who was a member of a military family and was born in Savannah and spent his early childhood there, was picked too.

Falcons' Clay Matthews (57) celebrates after intercepting a pass from Miami Dolphins' quarterback Dan Marino on Dec. 3, 1995. (AP Photo/Hans Deryk)
Photo: HANS DERYK/AP

Here’s the complete group: 

  • Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2012-19)
  • Champ Bailey, CB – 1999-2003 Washington Redskins, 2004-2013 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
  • Ronde Barber, CB/S – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-19)
  • Tony Boselli, T – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve) | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2016-19)
  • Isaac Bruce, WR – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
  • LeRoy Butler, S – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-19)
  • Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 11 – 2005, 2010-19)
  • Alan Faneca, G – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2016-19)
  • Tom Flores, Coach – 1979-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-94 Seattle Seahawks | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
  • Tony Gonzalez, TE – 1997-2008 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009-2013 Atlanta Falcons | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
  • Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
  • Steve Hutchinson, G – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-19)
  • Edgerrin James, RB – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
  • Jimmy Johnson, Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2014-19)
  • Ty Law, CB – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
  • John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2013-19)
  • Clay Matthews, LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2012, 2017, 2019)
  • Kevin Mawae, C/G – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
  • Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2012-19)
  • Sam Mills, LB – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2016, 2019)
  • Ed Reed, FS – 2002-2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2013 New York Jets, 2013 Houston Texans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
  • Richard Seymour, DE/DT – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-2019)
  • Zach Thomas, LB – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
  • Hines Ward, WR – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2017-19)
  • Darren Woodson, S – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2015, 2017, 2019)

The next step in the selection process comes on Thursday, Jan. 3 when the semifinalists are trimmed to 15 Modern-Era Finalists. That list increases to 18 finalists with the inclusion of the recommended nominees of the Hall of Fame’s Contributors and Seniors Committees.

The 2019 Contributor Finalists are Pat Bowlen (Owner – 1984-present Denver Broncos) and Gil Brandt (Vice President of Player Personnel – 1960-1988 Dallas Cowboys; Contributor – 1995-present NFL.com).

The Senior Finalist is Johnny Robinson (S – 1960-1971 Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs).

The annual selection meeting will be held on Feb. 2, 2019 in at the Fox Theatre, the day before Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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