Here is the complete list of the 15 finalists:
DE Jared Allen
OT Willie Anderson
DB Ronde Barber
DE Dwight Freeney
PR Devin Hester
WR Torry Holt
WR Andre Johnson
CB Albert Lewis
CB Darrelle Revis
OT Joe Thomas
LB Zach Thomas
DE DeMarcus Ware
WR Reggie Wayne
LB Patrick Willis
S Darren Woodson
We'll analyze the list in a moment, but first, the McNair family was understandably proud of Johnson, the first truly great player for this franchise. In statements last night, here is what Co-Founder Janice McNair had to say:
“Once again, I’d like to congratulate Andre on this tremendous honor,” Texans Co-Founder and Senior Chair Janice McNair said. “I’m so proud of him and everything he has accomplished on and off the field. He is a shining example of a teammate, friend and father, and he’s already a Hall of Famer in my book.”And here his CEO Cal McNair:
“I’m thrilled for Andre that he has again earned this well-deserved recognition,” Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair said. “He is a legend in every sense of the word, and I will always be grateful for his incredible contributions to our team and the impact he continues to have on our organization and the City of Houston. From the day he became a Texan in 2003, he was the definition of a competitor on the field and a pillar in our community. We will continue to take every opportunity to celebrate Andre’s career and everything he has accomplished.”
Johnson was drafted third overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, and played 12 seasons with the Texans and is the all-time leader in nearly every receiving category including career receptions (1,012), receiving yards (13,597), receiving touchdowns (64) and 100-yard games (51). He is the inaugural member of the team's Ring of Honor. Johnson finished his career with 1,062 catches for 14,185 yards and 70 touchdowns. He was a four-time All-Pro selection (2006, 2008-09, 2012) and seven-time Pro Bowler (2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014).
The competition for induction will be stiffer in 2023 than it was in 2022, as at least two first time eligible players — tackle Joe Thomas and cornerback Darelle Revis — are expected to enter the Hall on their first try, leaving three spots open for Johnson and the 12 other finalists.
There are two other wide receivers on the ballot, Reggie Wayne and Torry Holt. The good news is that Johnson leads them in most statistical categories, Pro Bowl honors, and All Pro designations. Also, Wayne and Holt played with all-time great quarterbacks, while Johnson compiled his stats with the peak of his QB play being Matt Schaub from 2009 through 2012.
The 2023 class will be announced the weekend of the Super Bowl in February, and induction takes place this summer at the start of the NFL preseason.
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