It’s now officially official. Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is now on the list of Modern-Era player nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 as of Thursday.
Polamalu, who played 12 seasons in the NFL with the Steelers after being selected by the team in the first-round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of USC, is one of eight first-year eligible players in this year’s 122 Modern-Era player nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020. He’s also one of six former Steelers players among those nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 as guard Alan Faneca, wide receiver Hines Ward, nose tackle Casey Hampton, inside linebacker James Farrior, and kicker Gary Anderson are also on this year’s list.
During his career, Polamalu registered 32 regular season interceptions and 3 more in the playoffs. He was also credited with 14 forced fumbles during his career in Pittsburgh and seven fumble recoveries. The Steelers former safety made countless other jaw-dropping plays during career that do not show up in the stats.
In case the @ProFootballHOF voters need a little bit of early reminding, which they shouldn't, here are just a few of the plays that #Steelers S Troy Polamalu (@tpolamalu) made during his career. 🐐🏈pic.twitter.com/GhK2PuclMJ
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) September 12, 2019
One would think that Polamalu did more than enough during his career to be a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in 2020. This past year, former NFL safety Ed Reed, who played most of his career with the Baltimore Ravens, was a first-ballot selection and member the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019.
Faneca and Ward both being nominated again this year isn’t a bit surprising. Faneca has been a finalist the last four years while Ward has been a semifinalist the last three years. After failing to make the final cut last year, this should be the year that Faneca is finally given a gold jacket. Ward, on the other hand, should probably still be considered a longshot once again this year. Hampton, Farrior and Anderson also aren’t likely to be one of this year’s finalists.
Thursday’s list of Modern-Era player nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 is just the first step of the annual process and below is detailed information from the Pro Football Hall of Fame regarding what the next steps are via the official website.
The Modern-Era players list will be reduced to 25 Semifinalists in November and to 15 Finalists in early January 2020. The finalists will then be presented to the full 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee during its annual meeting on “Selection Saturday,” the day before Super Bowl LIV.
The Hall of Fame Board recently passed a resolution that suspended the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee By-Laws for the Class of 2020 election cycle only. The measure is intended to honor the NFL’s Centennial Celebration through a special Centennial Class that will be comprised of 20 members in 2020. The group will include five Modern-Era players to come from the list announced today in addition to 10 Seniors (a player who has been retired for more than 25 seasons), three Contributors (an individual other than a player or coach) and two Coaches.
The Selection Committee will meet on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 in Miami to elect the Class of 2020 that will include five Modern-Era players. The Modern-Era Finalists will be trimmed during the meeting from 15 to 10 and then from 10 to the five who will be elected as part of the Class of 2020.
The determination of the Seniors, Contributors and Coaches Finalists will be led by a special 25-person Centennial “Blue-Ribbon” panel who will review the backlog of deserving Seniors, Coaches and Contributors. The Blue-Ribbon Panel will be comprised of Hall of Fame Selectors, Pro Football Hall of Famers, media members, football historians and industry experts.
The Centennial Class of 2020 will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the annual Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls from Aug. 6-9, 2020 and the Centennial Celebration in Canton on Sept. 16-19, 2020.