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Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez headline 15 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists for 2019

The 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class is one step away from completion. 

On Thursday, the list of candidates hoping to join the Pro Football Hall of Fame was whittled down from 25 semifinalists to 15 finalists. Only one more checkpoint remains until we find out who will make up the Class of 2019, which will be finalized a month from now. 

Defensive backs dominated, making up one-third of the group. Offensive linemen weren’t far behind, getting four selections. Two coaches — Don Coryell and Tom Flores — made their way onto the list. Three players in their first year of eligibility made it: tight end Tony Gonzalez (second all time in receptions), safety Ed Reed (seventh-most interceptions of all time), and cornerback Champ Bailey (52 career interceptions). Flores and Richard Seymour are first-time finalists, while former safety and current 49ers general manager John Lynch is the veteran of the group. This is his sixth-time being named a finalist.

Here’s the entire list in alphabetical order:

  1. Steve Atwater, Safety – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
  2. Champ Bailey, Cornerback – 1999-2003 Washington Redskins, 2004-2013 Denver Broncos
  3. Tony Boselli, Tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
  4. Isaac Bruce, Wide Receiver – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
  5. Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
  6. Alan Faneca, Guard – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
  7. Tom Flores, Coach – 1979-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-94 Seattle Seahawks
  8. Tony Gonzalez, Tight End – 1997-2008 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009-2013 Atlanta Falcons
  9. Steve Hutchinson, Guard – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans
  10. Edgerrin James, Running Back – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks 
  11. Ty Law, Cornerback – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
  12. John Lynch, Free Safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
  13. Kevin Mawae, Center – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
  14. Ed Reed, Safety – 2002-2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2013 Houston Texans, 2013 New York Jets
  15. Richard Seymour, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders

Joining those 15 finalists are the previously announced contributor finalists, Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt, and the finalist from the seniors committee, Johnny Robinson, bringing the total number of finalists to 18. 

16. Johnny Robinson, Safety – 1960-1971 Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs
17. Pat Bowlen, Owner – 1984-Present Denver Broncos
18. Gil Brandt, Vice President of Player Personnel – 1960-1988 Dallas Cowboys; Contributor – 1995-present

So what happens next? There’s only more step left in the process. To gain entrance into the Hall of Fame, a finalist needs to garner at least 80 percent support from the selection committee. A maximum of eight finalists can be inducted and a minimum of four finalists must be inducted. 

Who will get in? Here’s how Pete Prisco, who has covered the NFL for three decades, would vote:

The Hall of Fame class will be announced on Feb. 2 (the day before the Super Bowl) on CBS and they will be officially inducted on August 3 in Canton, Ohio.

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