Ward, Harrison & Thomas Among Pro Football Hall of Fame Semifinalists
The Prof Football Hall of Fame announced the 28 semifinalists for the 2023 class on Tuesday.
A pair of Steelers, a Browns offensive lineman and a Bills linebacker were among the list trimmed from 129 nominees.
Former Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas and Steelers linebacker James Harrison are two of the five, first-year eligible candidates. Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward is a semifinalist for the seventh time. Former Bills linebacker London Fletcher is a semifinalist for the first time.
Thomas played 11 seasons for the Cleveland Browns. He was the third overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. The Browns left tackle was a 10-time Pro Bowler and a six-time Associated Press First Team All-Pro selection.
Harrison played sixteen seasons in the NFL, fourteen of them spent with the Steelers. He won the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year Award. Harrison was selected to five Pro Bowls and was a two-time AP First Team All-Pro pick. Harrison has 84.5 career sacks.
Ward played fourteen seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former third-round pick has 1,000 career receptions and over 12,000 receiving yards. Ward was selected to four Pro Bowls and was named the MVP of Super Bowl 40.
London Fletcher spent five seasons with the Buffalo Bills from 2002-2006. He played 16 seasons in the NFL, with Washington and St Louis in addition to Buffalo. Fletcher was a four-time Pro Bowler. Fletcher has the second-most combined and solo tackles in NFL history with 2,039. He trails only Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens.
The list will be trimmed to 15 finalists in early January. The 2023 Hall of Fame class will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 9 at the NFL Honors in Glendale, Arizona.
The class will be enshrined next August in Canton, Ohio.