NASHVILLE, Tenn.– As if the man’s ego needed any more inflating, our own Derrick Mason was announced late Wednesday as a nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017.
Mason joins quarterback Donovan McNabb, running back LaDainian Tomlinson, pass rusher Jason Taylor, center Olin Kreutz, wide receivers Chad Johnson & Hines Ward, safeties Brian Dawkins & Bob Sanders and linebacker Joey Porter as the other newly-eligible nominees.
As currently constructed, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s list of Modern-era nominees consists of 94 players and coaches total. Former Titans Eddie George, Gary Anderson, Steve McNair and Kevin Mawae join Mason as potential candidates. McNair, George, Anderson and Mawae were nominated as a part of the 2016 HOF Class.
The list of players and coaches will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists this November. In January, a total of 15 finalists will remain.
According to the Hall of Fame’s website, “eighteen finalists will be presented to the full 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee during its annual selection meeting on the eve of Super Bowl LI. The finalists will consist of 15 modern-era finalists, the recently named Senior Finalist, Kenny Easley, and the 2017 Contributor Finalists, Jerry Jones and Paul Tagliabue.”
The Class of 2017 will be decided on Saturday, February 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas by the Selection Committee.
Mason was drafted out of Michigan State in the fourth round by the Titans/Oilers franchise in 1997 and stayed with the team until 2004. Mason then signed with the Baltimore Ravens through the 2010 season before finishing his 15-year career in 2011 with 943 receptions, 12,061 yards and 66 touchdowns.
In his 1st year of eligibility, Derrick Mason earns the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 nomination! pic.twitter.com/zhnlHIV03P
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) September 15, 2016
MODERN-ERA NOMINEES FOR THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017
Drew Bledsoe, Randall Cunningham, Doug Flutie, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Phil Simms and Kurt Warner
Running Backs (13)
Shaun Alexander, Ottis Anderson, Tiki Barber, Larry Centers, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Eddie George, Edgerrin James, Daryl Johnston, Eric Metcalf, LaDainian, Tomlinson, Herschel Walker and Ricky Watters
Isaac Bruce, Henry Ellard, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Terrell Owens, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith and Hines Ward
Tight End (1)
Offensive Linemen (14)
Tony Boselli (T), Ray Donaldson (C), Alan Faneca (G), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), Olin Kreutz (C), Jim Lachey (T), Kevin Mawae (C/G), Tom Nalen (C), Nate Newton (G) and Steve Wisniewski (G)
Defensive Linemen (5)
Leslie O’Neal (DE), Simeon Rice (DE), Fred Smerlas (NT), Jason Taylor (DE) and Bryant Young (DT)
Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Bruschi, Seth Joyner, Levon Kirkland, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Joey Porter and Zach Thomas
Defensive Backs (16)
Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Joey Browner (S), LeRoy Butler (S), Brian Dawkins (SS), Rodney Harrison (S), Ty Law (CB), Albert Lewis (CB), John Lynch (S), Frank Minnifield (CB), Bob Sanders (SS), Darren Sharper (FS), Dennis Smith (SS), Troy Vincent (S), Everson Walls (CB) and Darren Woodson (S)
Morten Andersen (K), Gary Anderson (K), Sean Landeta (P) and Nick Lowery (K)
Special Teams (2)
Brian Mitchell (KR/PR, also RB) and Steve Tasker (ST, also WR)
Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, Richie Petitbon, Dan Reeves, Clark Shaughnessy and Dick Vermeil