INDIANAPOLIS – A pair of repeat finalists head a strong Indianapolis Colts contingent for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024.
Reggie Wayne and Dwight Freeney, each of whom were among the final 15 modern-era candidates in February, again are included in the 173 nominees for a spot in Canton, Ohio.
They are joined by several franchise standouts: defensive end and career sack leader Robert Mathis, center Jeff Saturday, safety Bob Sanders, punter Pat McAfee and placekicker Mike Vanderjagt.
A few other candidates also spent time in Indy: linebacker Cornelius Bennett, wideout Andre Rison, placekicker Matt Stover, defensive end Simeon Rice, cornerback Antonio Cromartie and punt returner Josh Cribbs.
The list of 173 candidates will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November. That group again will be presented to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee – I am one of 50 selectors – which will pare the list to 15 modern-era finalists.
The Selection Committee will meet in January to determine the Class of 2024.
Wayne is in his fifth year of eligibility and has reached the Final 15 the previous four years. He made the cut to the final 10 for the first time in February, but selectors were unable to sort out a logjam consisting of Wayne, Torry Holt and Andre Johnson.
Freeney reached the Final 15 in his first year of eligibility.
In the lists below, Italics denotes a Class of 2023 finalist and former Colts are bolded.
- Quarterbacks (10):
- Marc Bulger, Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Doug Flutie, Rich Gannon, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Michael Vick.
- Running backs (33):
- Shaun Alexander, Terry Allen, Mike Alstott, Jamal Anderson, Tiki Barber, Michael Bates, Jamaal Charles, Larry Centers, Stephen Davis, Corey Dillon, Warrick Dunn, Charlie Garner, Eddie George, Ahman Green, Priest Holmes, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Daryl Johnston, Thomas Jones, John Kuhn, Vonta Leach, Dorsey Levins, Jamal Lewis, Eric Metcalf, Glyn Milburn, Lorenzo Neal, Tony Richardson, Robert Smith, Fred Taylor, Chris Warren, Ricky Watters, Brian Westbrook, Ricky Williams.
- Wide receivers (23):
- Anquan Boldin, Troy Brown, Donald Driver, Antonio Freeman, Irving Fryar, Dante Hall, Devin Hester, Torry Holt, Joe Horn, Andre Johnson, Chad Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Derrick Mason, Herman Moore, Muhsin Muhammad, Jordy Nelson, Andre Rison, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Steve Smith Sr., Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker.
- Tight ends (3):
- Ben Coates, Antonio Gates, Wesley Walls.
- Offensive linemen (25):
- Willie Anderson, Bruce Armstrong, Matt Birk, Lomas Brown, Ruben Brown, Jahri Evans, Kevin Glover, Olin Kreutz, T.J. Lang, Matt Light, Nick Mangold. Logan Mankins, Tom Nalen, Nate Newton, Jeff Saturday, Mark Schlereth, Josh Sitton, Chris Snee, Mark Stepnoski, Dave Szott, Max Unger, Brian Waters, Richmond Webb, Erik Williams, Steve Wisniewski.
- Defensive linemen (20):
- John Abraham, Jared Allen, Dwight Freeney, La’Roi Glover, Casey Hampton, Robert Mathis, Haloti Ngata, Leslie O’Neal, Julius Peppers, Simeon Rice, Justin Smith, Neil Smith, Dana Stubblefield, Henry Thomas, Justin Tuck, Ted Washington, Vince Wilfork, Jamal Williams, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams.
- Linebackers (25):
- Jesse Armstead, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Cornelius Bennett, Lance Briggs, Keith Brooking, NaVorro Bowman, Tedy Bruschi, Karlos Dansby, Donnie Edwards, James Farrior, London Fletcher, James Harrison, Larry Izzo, Willie McGinest, Hardy Nickerson, Ken Norton Jr., Bryce Paup, Julian Peterson, Joey Porter, Takeo Spikes, Jessie Tuggle, Mike Vrabel, Patrick Willis, Al Wilson, Lee Woodall.
- Defensive backs (17):
- Eric Allen, Kam Chancellor, Nick Collins, Antonio Cromartie, Dre Bly, Merton Hanks, Rodney Harrison, Carnell Lake, Tim McDonald, Eugene Robinson, Samari Rolle, Allen Rossum, Bob Sanders, Charles Tillman, Troy Vincent, Antoine Winfield, Darren Woodson.
- Punters/kickers (15):
- David Akers, Gary Anderson, Darren Bennett, Jason Elam, Jeff Feagles, Jason Hanson, John Kasay, Sean Lendeta, Shane Lechler, Brad Maynard, Pat McAfee, Brian Moorman, Matt Stover, Matt Turk, Mike Vanderjagt.
- Special teams (2):
- Josh Cribbs, Brian Mitchell.
You can follow Mike Chappell on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @mchappell51.