Wayne, Polamalu among 2020 HOF finalists


First-time-eligible finalists have been the headliners of the previous two Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies.

Watters was among the 25 semifinalists, but was cut when the list was whittled down to 15, leaving just Hutchinson and James among former Seahawks.

Polamalu made the Pro Bowl eight times in his nine seasons as a starter, earning first-team All-Pro status four times. Atwater and Hutchinson have each been a finalist three times. He played his final two National Football League seasons with the 49ers in 2008 and '09.

Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, who played for the Jaguars from 1998-2008, had been a Hall semifinalist this year for the first time. Unfortunately, he'll have to wait until 2021 to try and advance to the finalist round as he wasn't one of the five modern-era players named to the last round of this year's class.

During his 12 seasons with Green Bay, Butler became the first defensive back in National Football League history to eclipse 20 interceptions and 20 sacks, finishing his career with 38 interceptions, 20½ sacks in 181 regular-season games.

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The list of 10 seniors was recently announced and includes former Steelers safety Donnie Shell, while the list of coaches up for consideration includes former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.

The Class of 2020 will be formally introduced during the NFL Honors show that evening.

The panel will meet this month to determine the 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches that will become part of the Hall of Fame's one-time expanded class.

Willis' Hall of Fame case is pretty rock solid despite his relatively short career. Even in his final season as a 35-year-old on a bad 49ers team he posted 6.5 sacks.

Cowher's resume' probably isn't quite strong enough to get in with this group, but perhaps he'll make it someday.