Troy Polamalu and wide receiver Reggie Wayne are among the 122 candidates named Thursday to the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame’s modern-era preliminary list for the Cass of 2020.
Polamalu and Wayne are two of eight former players in their first years of eligibility, joining John Abraham, Lance Briggs, Josh Cribbs, Maurice Jones-Drew, Justin Smith and Patrick Willis.
The list of 122 nominees, one of the largest ever, includes 63 offensive players, 43 defensive players and 18 special-teams players.
Because the Hall has a one-time – and separate -- Centennial Class next year that will celebrate 100 years of the NFL, no coaches are part of the modern-era class. Two will be named to the Centennial Class.
The preliminary list next is cut to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in early January. Those finalists are then reduced to five when the Hall’s board of selectors meets on Feb. 1, the day prior to Super Bowl LIV.
The preliminary list reads as follows:
QUARTERBACKS (7) – Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Boomer Esiason, Jeff Garcia, Jeff Hostetler, Dave Krieg, Donovan McNabb.
RUNNING BACKS (19) – Shaun Alexander, Mike Alstott, Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Larry Centers, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Priest Holmes, Edgerrin James, Daryl Johnston, Thomas Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew, Eric Metcalf, Lorenzo Neal, Clinton Portis, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker, Chris Warren, Ricky Watters.
WIDE RECEIVERS (12) – Isaac Bruce, Gary Clark, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne.
TIGHT ENDS (6) – Dallas Clark, Ben Coates, Keith Jackson, Brent Jones, Jeremy Shockey, Wesley Walls.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (19) – Willie Anderson, Matt Birk, Tony Boselli, Lomas Brown, Ray Donaldson, Alan Faneca, Kevin Gogan, Jordan Gross, Chris Hinton, Kent Hull, Steve Hutchinson, Lincoln Kennedy, Olin Kreutz, Chris Samuels, Jeff Saturday, Brian Waters, Richmond Webb, Erik Williams, Steve Wisniewski.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (11) – John Abraham, La’Roi Glover, Casey Hampton, Chester McGlockton, Leslie O’Neal, Simeon Rice, Richard Seymour, Justin Smith, Neil Smith, Greg Townsend, Bryant Young.
LINEBACKERS (17) – Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Lance Briggs, Tedy Bruschi, James Farrior, London Fletcher, Seth Joyner, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest, Sam Mills, Chris Spielman, Takeo Spikes, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas, Jessie Tuggle, Patrick Willis.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (15) – Eric Allen, Steve Atwater, Ronde Barber, LeRoy Butler, Nick Collins, Merton Hanks, Rodney Harrison, Albert Lewis, John Lynch, Terry McDaniel,, Tim McDonald, Troy Polamalu, Bob Sanders, Troy Vincent, Darren Woodson.
PUNTERS/KICKERS (11) – David Akers, Gary Anderson, Jason Elam, Jeff Feagles, Jason Harrison, Sean Landeta, Ryan Longwell, Nick Lowery, Reggie Roby, Rohn Stark, Matt Turk.
SPECIAL TEAMERS (5) – Johnny Bailey, Josh Cribbs, Mel Gray, Brian Mitchell, Steve Tasker.