HOUSTON, Texas — The Chargers may no longer be in San Diego, but longtime fans of the Bolts may have reason to celebrate on Saturday night.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2017 will be announced, and of the 18 finalists, just one is a likely lock. That’s iconic Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, the 2006 NFL MVP who is fifth in career rushing yards, second in career rushing touchdowns and third in total touchdowns.
There are 18 finalists for this year’s class, 15 of which are from the modern era. Of the 15, seven are first-time finalists, including three first-year eligible nominees: Brian Dawkins, Jason Taylor and Tomlinson.
There also is one senior finalist, Kenny Easley, and two contributor finalists, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current bylaws stipulate that between four and eight new members are to be chosen each year. No more than five modern-era finalists can be elected in a given year.
To be eligible for election, modern-era players and coaches must have last played or coached more than five seasons ago. Since contributors do not need to be retired to be eligible, there is no specific year of eligibility for Jones or Tagliabue.
The 48-person selection committee will elect the class of 2017 on Saturday. The class later will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special that airs Saturday from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. ET and PT on FOX. The program will be taped earlier in the evening at the Wortham Theater in Houston.
In addition to the hall of fame announcement, the NFL and the Associated Press will name their annual award winners, including the MVP, coach of the year, offensive player of the year, defensive player of the year, offensive rookie of the year and defensive rookie of the year.
This year’s hall-of-famers will be enshrined in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, in August.
Here is the list of the 15 modern-era finalists:
Morten Andersen, Kicker — 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints; 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons; 2001 New York Giants; 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs; 2004 Minnesota Vikings Tony Boselli, Tackle — 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars Isaac Bruce, Wide Receiver — 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers Don Coryell, Coach — 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals and 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers Terrell Davis, Running Back — 1995-2001 Denver Broncos Brian Dawkins, Safety — 1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles and 2009-2011 Denver Broncos Alan Faneca, Guard — 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers; 2008-09 New York Jets; 2010 Arizona Cardinals Joe Jacoby, Tackle — 1981-1993 Washington Redskins Ty Law, Cornerback — 1995-2004 New England Patriots; 2005, 2008 New York Jets; 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs; 2009 Denver Broncos John Lynch, Free Safety — 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 2004-07 Denver Broncos Kevin Mawae, Center/Guard — 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks; 1998-2005 New York Jets; 2006-09 Tennessee Titans Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver — 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers; 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles; 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys; 2009 Buffalo Bills; 2010 Cincinnati Bengals Jason Taylor, Defensive End — 1997-2007, 2009, 2011 Miami Dolphins; 2008 Washington Redskins; 2010 New York Jets LaDainian Tomlinson, Running Back — 2001-09 San Diego Chargers and 2010-11 New York Jets Kurt Warner, Quarterback — 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams; 2004 New York Giants; 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals