Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez, Edgerrin James Headline 2019 Pro Football HOF Finalists

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2019

Tony Gonzalez appears on the CBS Thursday Night Football television show at Arrowhead Stadium before an NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos, in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Ed Zurga/Associated Press

The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2019 is taking shape.

The 15 modern-era finalists were announced on NFL Network on Thursday, and there was plenty of star power on the list, including first-year nominees Tony Gonzalez, safety Ed Reed and cornerback Champ Bailey. 

Here is a look at the entire list:

  • Tony Gonzalez, TE; Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons
  • Isaac Bruce, WR; Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers
  • Edgerrin James, RB; Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks
  • Ed Reed, S; Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and New York Jets
  • Steve Atwater, S; Denver Broncos and New York Jets
  • Champ Bailey, CB; Washington and Denver Broncos
  • Ty Law, CB; New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos
  • John Lynch, S; Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos
  • Tony Boselli, OT; Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans
  • Steve Hutchinson, G; Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans
  • Alan Faneca, G; Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals
  • Kevin Mawae, C/G; Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans
  • Richard Seymour, DE/DT; New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders
  • Don Coryell, Coach; St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers 
  • Tom Flores, Coach; Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and Seattle Seahawks

Gonzalez stands out on the talented list as arguably the best tight end in league history.

He played 17 seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons and was a six-time All-Pro selection and 14-time Pro Bowler. He is also second on the all-time reception list with 1,325 behind only Jerry Rice, sixth on the all-time receiving yards list with 15,127 and eighth on the all-time touchdown catch list with 111.

Elsewhere, Reed was a cornerstone of the dominant Baltimore Ravens defenses that are among the best in NFL history.

He played 12 seasons, 11 with Baltimore, and was a nine-time Pro Bowler, five-time All-Pro selection and a Defensive Player of the Year. He also helped the Ravens win a Super Bowl during his tenure and will look to join former teammate Ray Lewis in Canton, Ohio.

Another former AFC playmaker among the finalists is running back Edgerrin James. He played 11 seasons, seven of which were with the Indianapolis Colts, as he established himself as a go-to option in an offense that included Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.

The University of Miami product tallied more than 1,000 rushing yards in seven different seasons and led the league in rushing in each of his first two years. He was also a four-time Pro Bowler and Offensive Rookie of the Year during his career.

NFL.com explained the selection process the nominees have navigated, noting there were 91 players and 11 coaches who were initially nominated for the 2019 class. 

Joining the 15 finalists are three recommended nominees from the Hall of Fame's contributors and seniors committees—Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, former Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel Gil Brandt and former Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson.

The Hall of Fame's selection committee will hold a meeting on Feb. 2, where it will reduce the 15 finalists to 10 and then eventually five. Those remaining five candidates, as well as the senior and contributor finalists, must receive at least 80 percent of the vote to be part of the 2019 class that will be revealed the night before Super Bowl LII. 

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