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The Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday will announce its 25 semifinalists for the modern-era Class of 2022, with first-year candidates DeMarcus Ware, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Devin Hester and Robert Mathis among the candidates.

Also included are nine finalists from the Class of 2021. They are: Richard Seymour, LeRoy Butler, Tony Boselli, Zach Thomas, Sam Mills, Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne, Ronde Barber and Jared Allen. Only Clay Matthews, whose modern-era eligibility (20 years after retirement) expired this year, is absent.

Of that group, Seymour, Butler, Boselli and Thomas were top-10 holders from the Class of 2021. Matthews was the fifth.

Semifinalists are chosen by the Hall's board of 49 selectors from a preliminary list of 122 former players, first announced in late September. 

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The 25 semifinalists, revealed at 1 p.m. (EST), will be reduced to 15 finalists by the Hall’s board. That announcement will be in early January, with a vote on the modern-era Class of 2022 sometime prior to Super Bowl LVI.

Cliff Branch (senior), Art McNally (contributor) and Dick Vermeil (coach) already are finalists for the class.