October 4, 2022


This past weekend, the Pro Football Hall of Fame introduced the Class of 2022. This year’s class brings the total to 362 former players, coaches and contributors who have been enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

Of those 362, only 86 were admitted in their first year of eligibility. That number will likely increase next summer as there are several former gridiron players who will be eligible for the first time. Five modern-era players can gain entry next summer, while up to three senior finalists and one coach/contributor finalist can also gain entry.

So who will be in next year’s incoming class. Let’s take a look at how it could possibly pan out.

** denotes first-year eligible players

Possible modern introductions

**CB Darrelle Revis (2007-17): “Revis Island” was anything but a vacation spot for NFL players during his 10-year career. The seven-time Pro Bowler routinely shut down the league’s best receivers while making life miserable for quarterbacks. He helped New England snap a ten-year Super Bowl drought in 2014 after leading the Jets to back-to-back AFC title games in 2009-10.

WR Andre Johnson (2003-16): The best offensive player in Texans history, the former Miami Hurricane led the NFL in receptions and receiving yards on multiple occasions. Earned seven Pro Bowl nods over 10 years.

** EDGE Dwight Freeney (2002-17): A menacing passer who was armed with an unbeatable spin move. He racked up 125.5 sacks during his career which included 107.5 as a member of the Colts. He won a 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 best left tackles in NFL history, Thomas earned 10 consecutive Pro Bowl nods while being named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2010s. The modern-day “Iron Man” of the NFL, Thomas played in 167 games and collected 10,363 consecutive snapshots.

LB Zach Thomas (1996-08): As a tackling machine, Thomas collected seven Pro Bowls and five All-Pros over nine years. He recorded 1,734 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 17 interceptions (four returned for touchdowns), 16 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries in his 13-year career.

Torry Holt (1999-09): A key member of the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” offense, Holt caught the first touchdown in the Rams’ Super Bowl victory over the Titans. Holt enjoyed a long stretch of statistical excellence that included eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. He led the NFL in receiving yards twice and receptions once.

Potential senior inductees

QB Ken Anderson (1971-86): The 1981 NFL MVP, Anderson led the Bengals to the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance that season. Anderson led the NFL in passing yards twice and completion percentage three times.

LB Randy Gradishar (1974-83): The anchor of the Broncos’ “Orange Crush” defense that led the franchise to its first Super Bowl berth in 1977. A seven-time Pro Bowler, Gradishar was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1978.

DL Joe Klecko (1977-88): The versatile lineman earned Pro Bowl nods at defensive end, defensive tackle and nose tackle. He led the NFL with 20.5 sacks in 1981 while serving as a valuable member of the Jets “New York Sack Exchange” defense.

Potential coach/facilitator inductee

Robert Kraft: The Patriots have won six Super Bowls since Kraft began owning the franchise in 1994. Kraft was also instrumental in several lucrative television contracts, and also played a role in arranging the league’s 2011 lockout.





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