The list of former star players was announced Thursday. Seven players are first-time finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The modern-era player finalists were determined after a vote from the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, out of a list of 122 nominees. The list was reduced to 25 semifinalists in November.
Thomas and these former players were eligible previously for the Hall of Fame, but are first-time finalists: Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Torry Holt; New Orleans Saints linebacker Sam Mills, and San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Bryant Young.
Wayne and Pittsburgh Steelers legend Troy Polamalu are the only first-year eligible players to make it as finalists in 2020.
The list also includes these former players: Colts running back Edgerrin James; New England Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour; Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety John Lynch; Denver Broncos safety Steve Atwater; Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce; Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Tony Boselli; Steelers guard Alan Faneca, and Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson.
The 2020 class will include five modern-era players, 10 players who have been retired for more than 25 seasons (seniors), three non-players or coaches (contributors) and two coaches.
The modern-era finalists will be presented to a selection committee Feb. 1. The seniors, contributors and coaches will be elected by a 25-person panel composed of Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors, Pro Football Hall of Fame members, media members, football historians and industry experts.
The full class will be introduced Feb. 1 in Miami. The class will be enshrined during the Centennial Celebration from Sept. 16 to 19 in Canton, Ohio.