Football

Who’s eligible for Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017?

San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson (21) is carried by teammates after scoring his 29th touchdown of the season, breaking the NFL single-season record, in the fourth quarter of the Chargers 48-20 victory over the Denver Broncos in their football game in San Diego on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2006.
San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson (21) is carried by teammates after scoring his 29th touchdown of the season, breaking the NFL single-season record, in the fourth quarter of the Chargers 48-20 victory over the Denver Broncos in their football game in San Diego on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2006. Associated Press file

The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed its 2016 class on Saturday.

The eight-member roll was highlighted by quarterback Brett Favre, who was joined by Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison, Kevin Greene, Orlando Pace, Ken Stabler, Dick Stanfel and Ed DeBartolo Jr.

Here’s a look at the players who will be on the ballot for the first time in hopes of making the 2017 class.

LaDainian Tomlinson, running back

The longtime San Diego Chargers star played 11 seasons in the NFL, including his last two with the New York Jets.

When he retired after the 2011 season, he ranked fifth in career rushing yards (13,684), seventh in all-purpose yards (18,456), second in rushing touchdowns (145) and third in total TDs (162).

The 2006 NFL MVP holds the single-season record for rushing touchdowns (28) and total TDs (31). He’s a five-time Pro Bowler and his No. 21 has been retired by the Chargers.

Jason Taylor, defensive end/linebacker

Taylor played the majority of his 15 seasons with the Miami Dolphins over three stints. He also spent a year each with two other clubs.

The six-time Pro Bowler was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 and finished his career with 775 tackles, 139.5 sacks, eight interceptions and 46 forced fumbles.

Donovan McNabb, quarterback

The second overall pick in the 1999 draft is a six-time Pro Bowler who led the Philadelphia Eagles to the NFC Championship five times (2001-04, 2008). The Eagles only won one of those games then fell to New England in Super Bowl XXXIX.

He finished his 13-year career with more than 37,000 passing yards, 234 touchdowns and 117 interceptions and still holds several Eagles records for quarterbacks.

Brian Dawkins, safety

A second-round selection in 1996, Dawkins played 15 seasons in the NFL (the first 13 with the Philadelphia Eagles, who retired No. 20 in his honor, then two with the Denver Broncos).

The nine-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro selection had 1,131 tackles, 26 sacks, 37 picks, 28 forced fumbles and three touchdowns.

Chad Johnson, wide receiver

The flashy wideout played 12 seasons in the NFL. His six Pro Bowl selections proves he could play, but he may have been known more for what he did off the field.

Johnson, who wore jersey number 85, legally changed his last name to “Ochocinco” for a short time and was listed by a national news network as the top influence on social media among professional athletes.

He finished his career with 766 catches for 11,059 yards and 67 scores – not terribly great statistics given that Terrell Owens, who has much better career statistics, is still waiting for the Hall’s call.

Olin Kruetz, center

Kruetz played the majority of his 14-year career with the Chicago Bears. He spent his final year with the New Orleans Saints, playing in just four games.

The six-time Pro Bowler started 187 of his 195 NFL games.

Joey Porter, linebacker

Porter played 13 seasons in the NFL with three teams. The majority of his tenure was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team he helped win Super Bowl XL.

A first-team All-Pro selection in 2002, the four-time Pro Bowler had 672 tackles, 98 sacks and 12 interceptions.

Matt Light, offensive tackle

Light played all 11 seasons with the New England Patriots and was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams.

The three-time Pro Bowler started all but two of the 155 games he played in.

Rounding out the list

DT Tommie Harris, RB Larry Johnson, RB Thomas Jones, WR Derrick Mason, S Bob Sanders, TE Jeremy Shockey, WR Hines Ward, RB Ricky Williams

Compiled by Noel Harris

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