INDIANAPOLIS —Edgerrin James is — once again — one step closer to Canton.
The legendary Indianapolis Colts running back tonight was one of 25 former players and coaches announced as semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2019.
It's the fifth straight year that James has been named a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has advanced as one of 15 finalists twice — for the classes of 2016 and 2018.
James is the only running back to have advanced to the semifinalist round this year. The Class of 2019 finalists are expected to be announced Jan. 3.
Statistically one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, James played 11 NFL seasons, including his first seven with the Indianapolis Colts. In his career, James was named to four Pro Bowls and rushed for 12,246 yards, which ranks 13th on the all-time list. His 15,610 total yards from scrimmage ranks 11th all-time among running backs, and is more than Hall of Fame backs Eric Dickerson, Jerome Bettis and Jim Brown.
The Colts' fourth-overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft out of Miami, James lit up the league from the start in his NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign, leading the NFL in rushing with 1,553 yards and also scoring 13 touchdowns on the ground and four touchdowns through the air.
He's the greatest running back in Colts history, and leads the franchise in career rushing yards (9,226), rushing touchdowns (64), rushing yards per game average (96.1), rushing yards in a single season (1,709 in 2000) and most seasons with 1,000 rushing yards (five).
Here's the entire list of Modern Era semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019:
- Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2012-19)
- Champ Bailey, CB – 1999-2003 Washington Redskins, 2004-2013 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
- Ronde Barber, CB/S – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-19)
- Tony Boselli, T – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve) | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2016-19)
- Isaac Bruce, WR – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
- LeRoy Butler, S – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-19)
- Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 11 – 2005, 2010-19)
- Alan Faneca, G – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2016-19)
- Tom Flores, Coach – 1979-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-94 Seattle Seahawks | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
- Tony Gonzalez, TE – 1997-2008 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009-2013 Atlanta Falcons | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
- Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
- Steve Hutchinson, G – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-19)
- Edgerrin James, RB – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
- Jimmy Johnson, Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2014-19)
- Ty Law, CB – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
- John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2013-19)
- Clay Matthews, LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2012, 2017, 2019)
- Kevin Mawae, C/G – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015-19)
- Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2012-19)
- Sam Mills, LB – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2016, 2019)
- Ed Reed, FS – 2002-2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2013 New York Jets, 2013 Houston Texans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
- Richard Seymour, DE/DT – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2018-2019)
- Zach Thomas, LB – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2019)
- Hines Ward, WR – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2017-19)
- Darren Woodson, S – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2015, 2017, 2019)
According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
This list increases to 18 finalists with the inclusion of the recommended nominees of the Hall of Fame's Contributors and Seniors Committees. The 2019 Contributor Finalists are Pat Bowlen (Owner – 1984-Present Denver Broncos) and Gil Brandt (Vice President of Player Personnel – 1960-1988 Dallas Cowboys; Contributor – 1995-present NFL.com). The Senior Finalist is Johnny Robinson (S – 1960-1971 Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs).
Bowlen, Brandt and Robinson will be voted on separately and, like all other finalists, must receive 80% positive vote from the full Selection Committee on "Selection Saturday" at the annual selection meeting on Feb. 2, 2019 in Atlanta, Ga., the day before Super Bowl LIII.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame's current bylaws stipulate that between four and eight new members will be selected each year. No more than five Modern-Era Finalists can be elected in a given year. Therefore, a class of six, seven, or eight can only be achieved if one or more of the Contributor and Senior Finalists are elected.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2019 will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on the eve of Super Bowl LIII at 9 p.m. (ET and PT) on CBS. NFL Honors will be taped earlier that evening at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta from 5-7 p.m. (local) when the 2019 Hall of Fame class will be introduced for the first time. In addition, the NFL and The Associated Press will announce their annual accolades in this awards show with the winners on hand to accept their awards.
The Class of 2019 will be officially enshrined into the Hall of Fame during the spectacular Enshrinement Ceremony held inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium at Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in Canton on Saturday, Aug. 3.
Flashback Friday - 2018 HOF Finalist - EDGERRIN JAMES