Torry Holt, Joe Thomas, Darren Woodson Make the Cut

The 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class semifinalists were announced just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving. Getting introduced is just one of the first steps in getting inducted, with a cut-down date of finalists announced in December or early 2023.

Some players — seven, to be exact — have been nominated for the first time since their retirement, while others, such as Torry Holt, Darren Woodson, and Hines Ward, have been named a semifinalist at least seven times now. A total of 29 nominees are listed below.

  • CB Eric Allen (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2021-23)
    • Philly Eagles | 1988-1994
    • New Orleans Saints| 1995-97
    • Oakland Raiders | 1998-2001
  • DE Jared Allen (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2021-23)
    • Kansas City Chiefs | 2004-07
    • Minnesota Vikings | 2008-2013
    • Chicago Bears | 2014-15
    • Carolina Panthers | 2015
  • T Willie Anderson (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2021-23)
    • Cincinnati Bengals | 1996-2007
    • Baltimore Ravens | 2008
  • CB/S Ronde Barber (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2018-2023)
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 1997-2012
  • WR Anquan Boldin (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2022-23)
    • Arizona Cardinals | 2003-09
    • Baltimore Ravens | 2010-12
    • San Francisco 49ers | 2013-15
    • Detroit Lions | 2016
  • W. R. Henry Ellard (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2023)
    • Los Angeles Rams | 1983-1993
    • Washington Redskins | 1994-98
    • New England Patriots | 1998
  • G Jahri Evans (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2023)
    • New Orleans Saints | 2006-2016
    • Green Bay Packers | 2017
  • LB London Fletcher (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2023)
    • St.Louis Rams | 1998-2001
    • Buffalo Bills | 2002-06
    • Washington Redskins | 2007-2013
  • DE Dwight Freeney (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2023)
    • Indianapolis Colts | 2002-2012
    • San Diego Chargers | 2013-14
    • Arizona Cardinals | 2015
    • Atlanta Falcons | 2016
    • Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions | 2017
  • LB James Harrison (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2023)
    • Pittsburgh Steelers | 2002-2012, 2014-17
    • Cincinnati Bengals | 2013
    • New England Patriots | 2017
  • S Rodney Harrison (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2021, 2023)
    • San Diego Chargers | 1994-2002
    • New England Patriots | 2003-08
  • PR/KR/WR Devin Hester (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2022-23)
    • Chicago Bears | 2006-2013
    • Atlanta Falcons | 2014-15
    • Baltimore Ravens | 2016
  • WR Torry Holt (Times as a Semifinalist: 9 – 2015-2023)
    • St.Louis Rams | 1999-2008
    • Jacksonville Jaguars | 2009
  • W. R. Andre Johnson (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2022-23)
    • Houston Texans | 2003-2014
    • Indianapolis Colts | 2015
    • Tennessee Titans | 2016
  • CB Albert Lewis (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2013, 2023)
    • Kansas City Chiefs | 1983-1993
    • Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders | 1994-98
  • DE/LB Robert Mathis (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2022-23)
    • Indianapolis Colts | 2003-2016
  • CB Darrelle Revis (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2023)
    • New York Jets | 2007-2012, 2015-16
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 2013
    • New England Patriots | 2014
    • Kansas City Chiefs | 2017
  • WR Steve Smith Sr. (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2022-23)
    • Carolina Panthers | 2001-2013
    • Baltimore Ravens | 2014-16
  • RB Fred Taylor (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2020-23)
    • Jacksonville Jaguars | 1998-2008
    • New England Patriots | 2009-2010
  • T Joe Thomas (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2023)
    • Cleveland Browns | 2007-2017
  • LB Zach Thomas (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2019-2023)
    • Miami Dolphins | 1996-2007
    • Dallas Cowboys | 2008
  • W. R. Hines Ward (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2017-2023)
    • Pittsburgh Steelers | 1998-2011
  • LB/DE DeMarcus Ware (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2022-23)
    • Dallas Cowboys | 2005-2013
    • Denver Broncos | 2014-16
  • RB Ricky Watters (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2020, 2022-23)
    • San Francisco 49ers | 1992-94
    • Philly Eagles | 1995-97
    • Seattle Seahawks | 1998-2001
  • WR Reggie Wayne (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2020-23)
    • Indianapolis Colts | 2001-2014
  • DT Vince Wilfork (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2022-23)
    • New England Patriots | 2004-2014
    • Houston Texans | 2015-16
  • LB Patrick Willis (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2020-23)
    • San Francisco 49ers | 2007-2014
  • S Darren Woodson (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2015, 2017, 2019-2023)
    • Dallas Cowboys | 1992-2003

Why 29 Semifinalists in the 2023 Class?

Typically, the list of semifinalists is cut down to 25, a process the NFL adopted in 2004. However, if there are ties for the 25th nominee, all those that tied are included in the semifinalists’ list.

Of this list of 29 semifinalists, a total of 15 modern-era finalists will be announced at a later date. Then a list of four to nine former players will be chosen to be a part of the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class and announced at the 2023 NFL Honors on Feb. 9, just prior to Super Bowl LVII kicking off in Glendale, Arizona.

Who Are the First-Year Semifinalists, and Who’s Been Nominated the Most in the 2023 Class?

The first-year semifinalists nominated are Joe Thomas, James Harrison, Darrelle Revis, Henry Ellard, London Fletcher, Jahri Evans, and Dwight Freeney. Of that group, Thomas, Harrison, Revis, Evans, and Freeney are in their first year of eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

MORE: NFL Head Coach Wins Leaders

Of the list announced, no player has been named a semifinalist more than former Rams and Jaguars WR Torry Holt. Holt was a key cog in what’s deemed the “Greatest Show on Turf,” a Rams squad that won the Super Bowl in the 1999-2000 season.

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