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Hall of Fame Unveils New Candidates: More Patriots in 2023?

After former New England defensive lineman Richard Seymour was inducted into Canton last Summer, more Patriots are in contention for the next class.

While the current New England Patriots will attempt to climb above .500 by beating the Baltimore Ravens in their home opener Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium, some of the franchise's former stars can officially begin dreaming of becoming immortal.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday released its list of candidates for the Class of 2023, and the Patriots are well-represented. Of the 129 players eligible for Canton, 24 (18.6 percent) have connections to the Pats. Among New England's most qualified hopefuls are offensive lineman Logan Mankins and a quartet of defenders that helped win multiple Super Bowls in the 2000s: Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Rodney Harrison and Vince Wilfork.

Wilfork will be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame Saturday afternoon.

Last Summer, it was former Patriot Richard Seymour who was enshrined in Canton.

Offensive players on this year's ballot: WR Troy Brown, FB Larry Centers, TE Ben Coates, RB Corey Dillon, WR Henry Ellard, WR Irving Fryar, WR Torry Holt, RB Steven Jackson, WR Chad Johnson, RB Fred Taylor, G Brian Waters, WR Reggie Wayne, WR Wes Welker and Mankins.

Brown and Coates are both members of the Patriots Hall of Fame, while players such as Fryar and Welker had productive multi-year tenures in New England.

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Mankins likely has the best chance of advancing for consideration. He is a member of the NFL’s Team of the 2010s and has numerous individual accolades despite never winning a Super Bowl.

Defensive nominees include LB Chad Brown, LB James Harrison, CB Darrelle Revis, CB Asante Samuel, S Adrian Wilson, Bruschi, Harrison, McGinest and Wilfork.

The list will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November before 15 finalists are announced in January.

Those 15 will join recently named senior/contributor finalists Joe Klecko, Chuck Howley, Ken Riley and Don Coryell to form the players to get voted on by the 49-member selection panel. Between 4-9 men will then be announced as the 2023 Hall of Fame class on the eve of Super Bowl LVII in February.

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