June 7, 2023

This past weekend, the Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed the class of 2022. This year’s class saw 362 former players, coaches and contributors earn permanent positions in Canton, Ohio.

Of those 362, only 86 were selected in their first year of eligibility. That number will likely increase next summer as several former Gridiron standouts will qualify for the first time. Next summer, five modern players can qualify, while up to three senior finalists and one coach/contributor finalist can also qualify.

So who will take the introductory class next year. Let’s see how it gets out of the way.

** Indicates first-year eligible players

Likely Modern Candidates

**CB Darrell Revis (2007-17): In his 10-year career, “Revis Island” was by no means a vacation spot for NFL foreigners. The seven-time Pro bowler routinely locks up the league’s best receivers while making life miserable for quarterbacks. After leading the Jets to back-to-back AFC championships in 2009-10, he helped New England end a 10-year Super Bowl drought in 2014.

WR Andre Johnson (2003-16): The best offensive player in Texans history, the former Miami Hurricanes lead the NFL in receiving and receiving yards on multiple occasions. In 10 years, he won seven Pro Bowls.

**Edge Dwight Freeney (2002-17): A menacing passer with unparalleled spin. Collected 125.5 sacks in his career, including 107.5 as a member of the Colts. Won the Super Bowl with Indianapolis in 2006 and helped the Cardinals reach the NFC Championship game nine years later.

**OL Joe Thomas (2007-17): One of the greatest left tackles in NFL history, Thomas won 10 straight Pro Bowls while being named to the 2010s NFL Team of the Decade. The NFL’s modern “Iron Man” Thomas played in 167 games and racked up 10,363 consecutive steals.

LB Zach Thomas (1996-08): A stealing machine, Thomas won seven Pro Bowls and five All-Pro titles in nine years. During his 13-year career, he completed 1,734 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 17 interceptions (4 touchdown returns), 16 forced turnovers and 8 fumble recoveries.

Tory Holt (1999-09): A key member of the Rams’ “Greatest Turf Show” offense, Holt scored his first touchdown in the Rams’ Super Bowl win over the Titans. Holt enjoyed a long run of excellent stats, including eight straight 1,000-yard seasons. He led the NFL in receiving yards and one catch twice.

possible senior applicants

QB Ken Anderson (1971-86): The 1981 NFL MVP, Anderson led the Bengals to their Super Bowl debut that season. Anderson leads the NFL twice in passing yards and three completions.

LB Randy Gladisha (1974-83): The mainstay of the Broncos’ “Orange Smash” defense, leading the team to its first Super Bowl in 1977. A seven-time Pro Bowler, Gladisal was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1978.

DL Joe Clayco (1977-88): The versatile forward earned Pro Bowl recognition for defensive end, defensive tackle and nose tackle. In 1981, he led the NFL with 20.5 sacks while serving as a key member of the Jets’ “New York Sack Exchange” defense.

Potential Coach/Contributor Inductee

Robert Kraft: The Patriots have won six Super Bowls since Kraft started owning the franchise in 1994. Kraft was also instrumental in several lucrative TV contracts while also being involved in resolving the league’s 2011 lockout.

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