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The Patriots haven't worn their red throwback jerseys or white "Pat Patriot" helmets since 2012. A spokesperson says they're interested in reviving them once the NFL changes the rule prohibiting teams from wearing more than one helmet per season.

By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com

Wednesday afternoon, the Pro Football Hall of Fame released its list of 130 modern-era nominees for the induction class of 2021. The list will later be narrowed down to 25 and then 15 finalists, before the official the Class of 2021 is announced the day before Super Bowl LV.

While this year’s list is highlighted by common Patriots villains such as Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson, 23 of the guys on the list were at one point under contract with New England (17.7 percent), including four first-time nominees. Here’s a rundown of who’s making their debuts on the list…

Wes Welker

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 18: Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots makes the catch as Michael Griffin #33 of the Tennessee Titans defends on October 18, 2009 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Patriots haven’t worn their red throwback jerseys or white “Pat Patriot” helmets since 2012. A spokesperson says they’re interested in reviving them once the NFL changes the rule prohibiting teams from wearing more than one helmet per season.

Welker was with the Patriots from 2007-2012. Despite what may seem like a limited window, he owns most of the franchises season and career receiving records. His 903 total career receptions ranks 22nd all-time, and is the most ever by an undrafted player. He the league in catches in 2007, 2009, and 2011, and was the first wide receiver in NFL history to record five 100-catch seasons.

Welker’s Hall of Fame case has been one of the most anticipated in recent memory. The induction committee has historically ignored players who were used in a unique or niche role, and didn’t fit the standard NFL superstar prototype. With many slot receivers, third-down backs, and special teams aces nearing eligibility, Welker will be a good barometer for how that group will be handled. He certainly left his mark on the league, but will the voters reward it even though he wasn’t a traditional deep-threat wideout?

Logan Mankins

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – SEPTEMBER 20: Logan Mankins #70 of the New England Patriots against the New York Jets at Giants Stadium on September 20, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

A first-round pick in 2005, Mankins was the picture of durability. He started 15 or 16 games in nine of his 11 years in the NFL, playing through a torn ACL for the entirety of the 2011 season. A six-time All-Pro, he was included as one of the starting guards on the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2010s.

There’s no reason to think Mankins won’t eventually end up in Canton, but his 11-year career is a bit shorter than average for modern Hall of Fame offensive linemen. It may keep him from getting in on his first ballot, but shouldn’t hold him out forever.

Jerod Mayo

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills is tackled by Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

ORCHARD PARK, NY – SEPTEMBER 25: Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills is tackled by Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

The Patriots current inside linebackers coach, Mayo was the 2008 rookie of the year and a First-Team All-Pro in 2010. Only 10 players recorded more tackles than he did during his time in the league (2008-2015). His 802 career stops are third-most in Patriots history.

Injuries kept him off the field during the second half of his career, but for a stretch he was among the most dominant linebackers in the NFL.

Steven Jackson

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – JANUARY 03: Steven Jackson #39 of the New England Patriots in action during the first half of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Jackson’s best days came as a member of the then-Saint Louis Rams, where he rushed for over 10,000 yards. He is 18th all-time in career rushing yards with 11,438.

However, he’ll always have an infamous place in Patriots history. Signed by the Patriots late in the 2015 as a way to manage the workload the main backs on their roster, Jackson was the focal-point of an overly conservative game plan for a Week 17 loss in Miami. He managed only 35 yards on 14 carries, and the defeat cost the Patriots home-field advantage in the AFC Championship game, which they ended up losing in Denver.

Other Patriots nominees this year include Richard Seymour, Willie McGinest, Rodney Harrison, Asante Samuel, Tedy Bruschi, Ben Coates, Brian Waters, and Corey Dillon.

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com