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Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed highlight 2019 NFL Hall of Fame finalists

By
Connor Grott
Former Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half on January 13, 2013 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. File photo by David Tulis/UPI
Former Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half on January 13, 2013 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. File photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame unveiled 15 modern-era finalists for the Class of 2019, including five players or coaches that are finalists for the first time.

Former NFL cornerback Champ Bailey, tight end Tony Gonzalez and safety Ed Reed are first-year eligible players. Former coach Tom Flores and defensive lineman Richard Seymour were eligible to be enshrined in previous classes, but this year marks the first time they are finalists.

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The current group of finalists were selected out of a pool of 92 players and 11 coaches that were originally named nominees last September.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will meet on Feb. 2, 2019, in Atlanta to elect the Class of 2019 out of the 15 finalists.

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The list of finalists includes: tight end Tony Gonzalez (1997-2013), cornerback Champ Bailey (1999-2013), safety Ed Reed (2002-2013), safety Steve Atwater (1989-99), tackle Tony Boselli (1995-2001), receiver Isaac Bruce (1994-2009), coach Don Coryell (1973-86), guard Alan Faneca (1998-2010), coach Tom Flores (1979-87, 1992-94), guard Steve Hutchinson (2001-12), running back Edgerrin James (1999-2009), cornerback Ty Law (1995-2009), safety John Lynch (1993-2007), center Kevin Mawae (1994-2009) and defensive lineman Richard Seymour (2001-12).

The 15 nominees are also joined by three additional finalists that were recommended by the Hall of Fame's Contributors and Seniors Committees, making it 18 possible candidates for enshrinement.

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Former Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson (1960-71) was announced as the senior finalist in August 2018 by the Seniors Committee.

Contributor finalists Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt were selected by the Hall of Fame's Contributors Committee last August. Bowlen is the current owner of the Denver Broncos since 1984. Brandt was the vice president of player personnel with the Dallas Cowboys (1960-88).

The Class of 2019 will be revealed the night before Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 2.

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