New England Patriots

  • On Tuesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 28 Modern-Era semifinalists for the Class of 2023. The group was selected from the initial list of 129 nominees.

    Of the 24 former Patriots that were included on that initial list, eight have made it to the semifinalist round. That includes two players in their first year on the ballot.

    Which players have a shot at becoming the 10th former New England Patriot enshrined in Canton? Here’s who has made the cut so far.

  • RB Fred Taylor

    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12: Fred Taylor #21 of the New England Patriots is tackled by Johnathan Joseph #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the NFL season opener on September 12, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Bengals 38-24. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 12: Fred Taylor #21 of the New England Patriots is tackled by Johnathan Joseph #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the NFL season opener on September 12, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Bengals 38-24. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Taylor is the NFL’s 17th all-time leading rusher, with 11,695 yards on the ground. Most of those came early in his career when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he spent the final two years of his career – 2009 and 2010 – with the Patriots. He’s now been a semifinalist in each of the last four years. As one of only two running backs in the semifinalist group this year (along with Ricky Watters), this could be one of the best chances he’s had to get in.


  • (Click here to subscribe to Patriots Audio on 98.5 The Sports Hub.)

  • WR/KR Henry Ellard

    Ellard is another player that starred elsewhere (the Rams in this case) early in his career but came to New England later on. He caught five passes in five games for the Patriots in 1998. Despite being eligible for almost 20 years, this is his first time as a semifinalist.

  • WR Torry Holt

    FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 02: Torry Holt #84 of the New England Patriots catches a pass during training camp on August 2, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    FOXBORO, MA – AUGUST 02: Torry Holt #84 of the New England Patriots catches a pass during training camp on August 2, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Holt probably should get the nod from Canton, in what is his ninth time as a semifinalist. He was a staring member of the Greatest Show on Turf Rams teams, where he put up eight consecutive 1,000-plus yard seasons. The other half of those teams’ wide receiver duo, Isaac Bruce, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020. After spending a year with the Jaguars, Holt signed with the Patriots for training camp in 2010, but a knee injury prevented him from making the team.

  • WR Reggie Wayne

    Like Holt, Wayne was a part of a generational offense before a brief summer stint in New England. He ranks 10th in NFL history in both catches (1,070) catches and receiving yards (14,345 yards) having spent the majority of his career with the Peyton Manning-led Colts. This is his fourth consecutive year as a finalist. 

  • NT Vince Wilfork

    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22: Vince Wilfork #75 of the New England Patriots signals to the defense during the second half of their 23-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

    FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 22: Vince Wilfork #75 of the New England Patriots signals to the defense during the second half of their 23-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

    In his second year of eligibility, Wilfork is a semifinalist for the second time. He’s hoping to follow Richard Seymour’s pattern of being inducted into the Patriots’ team Hall of Fame, then the Pro Football Hall of Fame the next year.

    Like Seymour, Wilfork’s career goes beyond what’s on the stat sheet. His presence impacted opponents blocking schemes, and made the Patriots Patriots one of the toughest teams to run on during his tenure. As good as he was as a run defender, Wilfork’s was an effective pass rusher, making him a three-down player at 6-foot-2, 325 pounds (listed). Wilfork was incredibly durable as well, especially for his position. The 2013 season was the only time he failed to play at least 13 games, and he played a full 16 in nine of his 13 NFL seasons overall.

  • LB James Harrison

    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 31: James Harrison #92 of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    FOXBORO, MA – DECEMBER 31: James Harrison #92 of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Harrison was one of the best pass rushers in the league for a decade and a half with the Steelers, highlighted by a Defensive Player of the Year award win in 2008. His 84.5 career sacks rank fourth among all linebackers during the span of his career, which spanned from 2002-2017.

    Midway through the 2017 season, he was released by the Steelers and signed by the Patriots for their playoff push. He had two sacks in his lone regular season game, but couldn’t find one in the playoffs. This is his first year of eligibility.

  • CB Darrelle Revis

    FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 26: Darrelle Revis #24 of the New England Patriots reacts during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium on October 26, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

    FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 26: Darrelle Revis #24 of the New England Patriots reacts during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium on October 26, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

    Revis played just one season with the Patriots, but it was one of the single greatest seasons ever played by a cornerback. On his way to a Super Bowl win and his fourth All-Pro nod in 2014, he played a critical role in one of the most dominant defenses of the Bill Belichick era. In his first year of eligibility, Revis seems like a lock to get the call to Canton.

  • S Rodney Harrison

    CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 18:  Rodney Harrison #37 of the New England Patriots helps make a call during their game against the Carolina Panthers on September 18, 2005 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

    CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 18: Rodney Harrison #37 of the New England Patriots helps make a call during their game against the Carolina Panthers on September 18, 2005 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

    Finally there’s Harrison, who may be the biggest Hall of Fame snub going in Pro Football. Frankly, Harrison’s candidacy shouldn’t be much of a debate. He’s a four-time All-Pro, and was considered by most to be the best strong safety in football during his time in New England.

    If that’s not enough, Harrison also has the distinction of being the founding member of the NFL’s 30-30 club. Harrison was the first player in NFL history with 30 career sacks and 30 career interceptions. Only Ray Lewis (a first ballot Hall of Famer) has joined him since, and nobody else has come particularly close.

    Despite all of that, this is only Harrison’s second time as a finalist in more than a decade of eligibility. Some have suggested his reputation as a ‘dirty’ player and (mostly fair) criticism of the process have played a role in him not being selected. Whatever the voters’ reasoning has been, it’s wrong. His induction is well overdue, and hopefully this is the year he gets the gold jacket he deserves.

  • Notable Patriots who were initial nominees but did not make the semifinal round include running back Corey Dillon, wide receivers Wes Welker and Irving Friar, tight end Ben Coates, guard Logan Mankins, defensive end and linebacker Willie McGinest, linebacker Tedy Bruschi, and cornerback Asante Samuel.

    As for the players who did make the cut, they now wait on the committee to trim the list from 28 semifinalists to 15 finalists. Those decisions will come next month, with the eventual induction class of as few as four and as many as nine players being announced in the week leading up to Super Bowl LVII in February.

  • 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 abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.