Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Anquan Boldin Semifinalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022

Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin joins 25 other players under consideration for the Hall of Fame Class of 2022

The first big step in the selection of the 2022 class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame was taken Wednesday when 26 semifinalists were announced. There are 26 instead of the usual 25 because of a tie. However, voting is not revealed so it’s unknown which players and how many were deadlocked for the final spot(s).

The 49-person selection committee (of which I am one) will next vote on their top 15 finalists, which will be announced in early January. The yearly selection meeting will occur at some point after that with the class being revealed at the NFL Honors telecast. This year, that will take place on Thursday, Feb. 10, rather than Saturday.

Once again, the selection committee showed how much it values first-time eligible players, placing seven of the 26 in the group. That includes former Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin. He is one of three receivers that are first-time eligible with the others Andre Johnson and Steve Smith.

The receivers group has usually been crowded and the three newcomers this year join Torry Holt (eight times a semifinalist), Reggie Wayne (three) and Hines Ward (six). Holt and Wayne have been finalists twice, while Ward has yet to reach the final 15.

Boldin was a second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2003 and played seven seasons before moving on to the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. In his seven seasons in the desert, Boldin played 95 games with 92 starts and had 586 receptions, 7,520 yards (12.8 average) and 44 touchdowns. He averaged 6.2 catches and 79.2 yards per game.

A look at the numbers for the six receivers shows how difficult a task it is for the selection committee.

The numbers below are seasons-games/starts-receptions-yards-average-catches/yards per game. The numbers in bold is the highest for that category among the group.

Boldin: 14-202/198-1076-13779-12.8-82-5.3/68.2

Wayne: 14-211/197-1070-14345-13.4-82-5.1/68.0

Johnson: 14-193/187-1062-14185-13.4-70-5.5/73.5

Smith: 16-219/198-1031-14731-14.3-81-4.7/67.3

Ward: 14-217/190-1000-12083-12.1-85-4.6/55.7

Holt: 11-173/158-920-13382-14.5-74-5.3/77.4

Overall, there are 11 offensive players with three running backs and two tackles to go with the six receivers; 13 defensive players with five defensive linemen, four linebackers and four defensive backs; and two special-teams players: Steve Tasker and first-time eligible kick returner Devin Hester.

The other first-time eligibles are edge rushers Robert Mathis and DeMarcus Ware and nose tackle Vince Wilfork. Running back Eddie George, who became eligible in 2010, is a semifinalist for the first time.

Nine players on the list were finalists in 2021: Jared Allen, Ronde Barber, Tony Boselli, LeRoy Butler, Holt, Sam Mills, Richard Seymour, Zach Thomas and Wayne. The 10th not elected in the last class was linebacker Clay Matthews, whose modern-day time period (20 years) passed and he is now in the seniors category. Tasker and Mills are in their final year of modern-day eligibility.

The following is the list of 2022 semifinalists. The number in parentheses after their position is the year they became eligible.

Eric Allen, CB (2007) – 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders. (Times as a semifinalist: 2 – 2021-22; times as a finalist: 0)

Jared Allen, DE (2021) – 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers. (Times as a semifinalist: 2, 2021-22; times as a finalist: 1, 2021)

Willie Anderson, T (2014) – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens. (Times as a semifinalist: 2, 2021-22; times as a finalist: 0)

Ronde Barber, CB-S (2018) – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Times as a semifinalist: 5, 2018-2022; times as a finalist: 1, 2021)

Read More

Anquan Boldin, WR (2022) – 2003-09 Arizona Cardinals, 2010-12 Baltimore Ravens, 2013-15 San Francisco 49ers, 2016 Detroit Lions. (Times as a semifinalist: 1, 2022)

Tony Boselli, T (2007) – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve). (Times as a semifinalist: 7, 2016-2022; times as a finalist: 5, 2017-2021)

LeRoy Butler, S (2007) – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers. (Times as a semifinalist: 5, 2018-2022; times as a finalist: 2, 2020-2021)

Eddie George, RB (2010) – 1996-2003 Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers-Titans, 2004 Dallas Cowboys. (Times as a semifinalist: 1, 2022)

Devin Hester, PR-KR-WR (2022) – 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens. (Times as a semifinalist: 1, 2022)

Torry Holt, WR (2015) – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars. (Times as a semifinalist: 8, 2015-2022; times as a finalist: 2, 2020-2021)

Andre Johnson, WR (2022) – 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016, Tennessee Titans. (Times as a semifinalist: 1, 2022)

Robert Mathis, DE-LB (2022) – 2003-2016 Indianapolis Colts. (Times as a semifinalist: 1, 2022)

Sam Mills, LB (2003) – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers. (Times as a semifinalist: 5, 2016, 2019-2022; times as a finalist: 2, 2020-2021)

Richard Seymour, DE-DT (2018) – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders. (Times as a semifinalist: 5, 2018-2022; times as a finalist: 3, 2019-2021)

Steve Smith, WR (2022) – 2001-2013 Carolina Panthers, 2014-16 Baltimore Ravens. (Times as a semifinalist: 1, 2022)

Steve Tasker, ST-WR (2003) – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills. (Times as a semifinalist: 9, 2004, 2008-2010, 2012-13, 2020-22; times as a finalist: 0)

Fred Taylor, RB (2016) – 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-2010 New England Patriots. (Times as a semifinalist: 3, 2020-22; times as a finalist: 0)

Zach Thomas, LB (2014) – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys. (Times as a semifinalist: 4, 2019-2022; times as a finalist: 2, 2020-2021)

Hines Ward, WR (2017) – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers. (Times as a semifinalist: 6, 2017-2022; times as a finalist: 0)

DeMarcus Ware, LB-DE (2022) – 2005-2013 Dallas Cowboys, 2014-16 Denver Broncos. (Times as a semifinalist: 1, 2022)

Ricky Watters, RB (2007) – 1992-94 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-97 Philadelphia Eagles, 1998-2001 Seattle Seahawks. (Times as a semifinalist: 2, 2020, 2022; times as a finalist: 0)

Reggie Wayne, WR (2020) – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts. (Times as a Semifinalist: 3, 2020-22; times as a finalist: 2, 2020-2021)

Vince Wilfork, DT (2022) – 2004-2014 New England Patriots, 2015-16 Houston Texans. (Times as a semifinalist: 1, 2022)

Patrick Willis, LB (2020) – 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers. Times as a semifinalist: 3, 2020-22; times as a finalist: 0)

Darren Woodson, S (2009) – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys. (Times as a semifinalist: 6, 2015, 2017, 2019-2022; times as a finalist: 0)

Bryant Young, DT (2013) – 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers. (Times as a semifinalist: 3, 2020-22; times as a finalist: 1, 2020)