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The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced it could induct a one-time only class of 20 members next year to further commemorate the NFL’s 100th anniversary. The class will include five modern era players, 10 senior era players, three contributors and two coaches.
The decision was approved by the Hall’s Board of Trustees during its annual meeting Friday.
The next decisions will be announced in September as a large list of nominees in each category will be revealed. Modern era players include those whose careers ended within the past 25 seasons, while senior era players are those who have been retired for more than 25 years. Semifinalists will be chosen later in the fall and finalists will be announced in January.
A bigger class benefits the senior era most, and could be a notable development for wide receiver Sterling Sharpe and NFL All-Decade honorees like running back Roger Craig, offensive linemen Joe Jacoby, Jimbo Covert, Al Wistert, Bruno Banducci and Ox Emerson, receivers LaVern Dilweg and Drew Pearson, defensive end L.C. Greenwood, cornerback Lester Hayes and safety Cliff Harris.
The eight members of the 2019 class — cornerback Champ Bailey, contributor Pat Bowlen, contributor Gil Brandt, tight end Tony Gonzalez, cornerback Ty Law, center Kevin Mawae, safety Ed Reed, and safety Johnny Robinson — receive their gold jackets Friday and will be enshrined Saturday.