Also part of the 108 early nominees who are eligible for the first time, having been retired for five years when the class is chosen next February, are cornerback Ronde Barber, wideout Donald Driver, linebacker Brian Urlacher, offensive linemen Steve Hutchinson, Matt Birk, and Jeff Saturday, and defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Kyle Vanden Bosch.
Steve Smith — the former New York Giants receiver — is also eligible for the first time. (The Steve Smith of Panthers and Ravens fame retired last year and is not yet eligible.)
During Super Bowl week, finalists will be discussed among 48 voters, plus senior nominees Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributors nominee Bobby Beathard. There is no set number for any class of enshrinees, though between four and eight new members will be selected.
Returning finalists from 2017 are receivers Isaac Bruce and Terrell Owens; center Kevin Mawae; tackles Tony Boselli and Joe Jacoby; guard Alan Faneca; safeties John Lynch and Brian Dawkins; cornerback Ty Law; and coach Don Coryell.
Enshrinement will take place next August in Canton.
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