Steve Smith, Andre Johnson headline 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame first-time nominees

Since its inaugural 1963 class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has inducted 346 members into Canton, Ohio, including the eight most recent members of the class of 2021.

The next group of hopefuls vying for a bust include 122 nominees from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s initial list, none of whom has played a game within the last five years.

That group will eventually get whittled down to 25 semifinalists in November, and 15 finalists in January, before the selection committee ultimately makes its choice on enshrinement.

Below are the list of first-time nominees, returning finalists and the rest of the field of nominees.

First-time 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees

At least one first-time nominee has been selected for induction into the Hall of Fame every year since 2013, including three — Calvin Johnson, Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson — last year.

Another factor that could bode well for some of the first-time nominees is that both the class of 2019 (Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez, Champ Bailey) and 2018 (Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher) have each seen three people inducted, setting a precedent should one of this year’s first-timers become a finalist.

Returning finalists from 2021

In addition to the 10 first-time nominees, there are nine returning finalists among the list of nominees looking to be inducted this year, plus coach finalist Dick Vermeil, senior finalist Cliff Branch and contributor finalist Art McNally.

Last year saw John Lynch (eight-time finalist) and Alan Faneca (six-time finalist) finally get inducted.

Mills’ potential induction will be done posthumously; he, Boselli, Holt and Thomas are all members of the College Football Hall of Fame as well.

Remaining Field of 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame Nominees

Of the 122 nominees, 65 played primarily offense, 46 played primarily defense and 11 were primarily special teamers.

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