Who Will Be in Next Class of Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Who Will Be in Next Class of Pro Football Hall of Fame?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Over the next few weeks, the Selection Committee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame will consider the credentials of this year’s 15 finalists from among modern-era players to determine who will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

EmpireStakes.com, your source for NY betting, takes a crack at handicapping the field.

Following a painstaking elimination process that typically begins in March and started with 129 nominees this year, the list of star players goes through numerous votes before arriving at the 15 finalists. In addition, there are four more candidates, including three who will be voted on as seniors committee finalists, and one who is a coach/contributor finalist.

When it comes down to who gains entry and has their bust in Canton, the HOF balloting is a Yes/No vote and finalists need to garner 80% of the votes.

There are 15 Modern-Era Player finalists for a HOF gold jacket in 2023, and it is anticipated that five will be inducted. The 2023 Pro Football HOF Class will be announced Feb. 9 during the NFL Honors show, which is three days before the Super Bowl.

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Which Players Are Most Likely to Make It?

PlayerPct. ChanceOdds
🏈 CB Darrelle Revis98.4%-6150
🏈 OT Joe Thomas97.8%-4445
🏈 DE Dwight Freeney53.5%-115
🏈 LB Patrick Willis47.6%+110
🏈 WR Torry Holt44.4%+125
🏈 LB DeMarcus Ware34.5%+190
🏈 LB Zach Thomas19.4%+415
🏈 WR Reggie Wayne16.0%+525
🏈 WR Andre Johnson8.0%+1150
🏈 WR/KR Devin Hester5.0%+1900

These odds won’t be coming up on NY betting apps, since the state does not permit wagering on awards determined by voters.

Still, EmpireStakes.com analyzed past Pro Football Hall of Fame classes, news around the finalists, and the Hall of Fame Monitor at pro-football-reference.com to create hypothetical odds for 10 of these finalists most likely to be inducted into  the 2023 class.

Among the finalists are first-timers offensive tackle Joe Thomas, cornerback Darrelle Revis and defensive lineman Dwight Freeney, who all top the list of hypothetical odds.   

Thomas, in particular, is a favorite for enshrinement, having been selected to 10 Pro Bowls and also being named first-team All Pro six times.  Occasionally, a player’s perceived status becomes linked to his team and in Thomas’ case he played for woeful Cleveland Browns teams for most of his career. So, it will be interesting to see whether the Browns’ won-loss record influences Thomas’s standing.

Cover corner Revis, of “Revis Island” fame, was named to seven Pro Bowls and was first-team All Pro four times.

Freeney, a blazing pass rusher, also was named to seven Pro Bowls and was first-team All Pro three times. Both Revis (when with New England) and Freeney (with Indianapolis) have Super Bowl wins on their resumes.

The seniors committee finalists are the late Ken Riley, Cincinnati cornerback, 65 interceptions; Chuck Howley, primarily Dallas linebacker and Super Bowl V MVP, and defensive lineman Joe Klecko (mainly N.Y. Jets) with 78 sacks.

Don Coryell, maestro of the “Air Coryell” passing attack in San Diego (and before that in St. Louis), is the coach/contributor finalist.

Full List of Players

The 15 Modern-Era Players in alphabetical order:

  • Jared Allen, DE – 2004-2007 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-2015 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers
  • Willie Anderson, OT -- 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens
  • Ronde Barber, DB – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Dwight Freeney, DE -- 2002-2012 Indianapolis Colts, 2013-14 San Diego Chargers, 2015 Arizona Cardinals, 2016 Atlanta Falcons, 2017 Detroit Lions, 2017 Seattle Seahawks
  • Devin Hester, PR/KR/WR -- 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-2015 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens, 2016 Seattle Seahawks
  • Torry Holt, WR -- 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Andre Johnson, WR -- 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016 Tennessee Titans
  • Albert Lewis, CB -- 1983-1993 Kansas City Chiefs, 1994-1998 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders
  • Darrelle Revis, CB -- 2007-2012/2015-16 New York Jets, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2014 New England Patriots, 2017 Kansas City Chiefs
  • Joe Thomas, LT -- 2007-2017 Cleveland Browns
  • Zach Thomas, LB -- 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys
  • DeMarcus Ware, LB -- 2005-2013 Dallas Cowboys, 2014-2016 Denver Broncos
  • Reggie Wayne, WR -- 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts
  • Patrick Willis, LB -- 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers
  • Darren Woodson, S -- 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys

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Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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