Champ Bailey, London Fletcher, Tony Gonzalez and Ed Reed are first-year eligible players among the 102 modern-era nominees for the newly announced Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2019.
Gonzalez, the most accomplished tight end in NFL history, retired in 2013 after 17 seasons in the league. He totaled 1,325 receptions, second only to Jerry Rice on the career list, for 111 touchdowns and 15,127 yards receiving.
Drafted with No. 13 overall draft pick by Kansas City in 1997, Gonzalez played 12 seasons for the Chiefs before finishing up his career with the Atlanta Falcons.
Reed spent 11 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens after being drafted with the No. 24 overall pick in 2002. He played parts of the 2013 season with the Houston Texans and New Jersey Jets before retiring.
Reed totaled 64 career interceptions, leading the league in picks three times, won a Super Bowl with the Ravens following the 2012 season and was named the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year.
Bailey started his NFL career with the Washington Redskins as the seventh overall choice in the 1999 draft. He signed with Denver in 2004 and led the league in interceptions two years later. He totaled 52 career interceptions and made three All-Pro teams.
Fletcher signed with the St. Louis Rams in 1998 as an undrafted free agent out of Division III school John Carroll University. He became a starting linebacker for the Rams in 1999 and went on to a 16-season career with St. Louis, Buffalo and Washington, ending with 1,380 tackles, 23 interceptions and 39 sacks.
Eight finalists from 2018 are back again as finalists in running back Edgerrin James, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, safety John Lynch, cornerback Ty Law, and offensive linemen Tony Boselli, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson and Kevin Mawae.
Among the other notable 2019 nominees are quarterbacks Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb and Steve McNair; running backs Eddie George and Herschel Walker; wide receivers Chad Johnson, Sterling Sharpe and Hines Ward; safeties Steve Atwater, LeRoy Butler and Darren Woodson; cornerback Ronde Barber; linebacker Karl Mecklenburg; defensive ends Simeon Rice and Leslie O’Neal; defensive tackle Richard Seymour; and coaches Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Marty Schottenheimer and Dick Vermeil.
In all, the 2019 nominees include 47 offensive players, 39 defensive players, five special-teams players and 11 coaches.
The nominees will be cut down to a field of 25 semifinalists in November and then to 15 in January. Former Chiefs defensive back Johnny Robinson has also been nominated as a senior committee finalist along with Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Cowboys executive Gil Brandt as finalists in the contributors category.
The final say on the members of the class of 2019 will be had by the 48-member Hall of Fame panel on Feb. 2, 2019, the day before Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, with inductions taking place in early August 2019 in Canton, Ohio.