The NFL announced its 25 modern-era semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021 on Tuesday afternoon. The voting members excluded two former All-Pros and Saints greats - Linebacker & Dome Patrol member Pat Swilling and defensive tackle La'Roi Glover. Nevertheless, two former New Orleans Saints stars were among the semi-final choices - linebacker Sam Mills and cornerback Eric Allen.
ERIC ALLEN, CORNERBACK
Eagles (1988-94), Saints (1995-97), Raiders (1998-2001)
Allen intercepted 54 passes and scored 9 defensive touchdowns during a brilliant 14-Yr career. He was recognized as one of the NFL's best cover corners through the late-1980's and early 1990s. Allen made the Pro Bowl in 1995 with New Orleans, one of six times he achieved that in his career. Five of his 54 career interceptions came during his three years with the Saints. Allen was one of the league’s most respected defensive backs throughout his career.
SAM MILLS, LINEBACKER
Saints (1986-94), Panthers (1995-97)
Joining the Saints in 1986, after starring for the USFL’s Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars, Mills would have five Pro Bowl seasons and would be elected to both the New Orleans and Carolina Hall of Fame. Four Pro Bowls would be with the Saints, where he was consistently among the league’s leading tacklers and helped form the ‘‘Dome Patrol’’, widely recognized as the best linebacker unit in NFL history. While a Saints player, Mills had 10.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 17 fumble recoveries, forced 16 fumbles, scored two defensive touchdowns, and had eight seasons of at least 85 tackles. Mills, who passed away in 2005, was a Hall of Fame finalist in 2020.
Of the semifinalists, fifteen finalists will be presented to a 48-member selection committee on Saturday, February 6, the day before Super Bowl LV. From those finalists, the committee will choose 4-8 new members for the Class of 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame.