Back in September, we passed on the 2017 NFL Hall of Fame Class nominee list of 94 former NFL greats from the player and coaching ranks. That nominee list included four former Los Angeles or St. Louis Rams: WR Isaac Bruce, WR Henry Ellard, WR Torry Holt and QB Kurt Warner.
Today, we have the list of the 26 semifinalists including three of those former Rams; only Ellard didn’t make the semifinalist cut.
The Greatest Show on Turf lives:
Here's the 26 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017! #PFHOF17 pic.twitter.com/5z4v6RIMvL— Pro Football HOF (@ProFootballHOF) November 17, 2016
Your three semi-finalist former Rams:
- Isaac Bruce, WR – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2015-17)
- Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2015-17)
- Kurt Warner, QB – 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams, 2004 New York Giants, 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2015-17)
In January, the 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will trim this list of 26 semi-finalists to 15 finalists in January. Those 15, along with Senior Finalist, former Seattle Seahawks S Kenny Easley, and the 2017 Contributor Finalists, Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, will be presented to the committee to decide the 2017 NFL Hall of Fame Class on February 4, 2017, the eve of Super Bowl LI. The class will be presented during the NFL Honors broadcast that evening.
For a bit of perspective over at NFL.com, Gil Brandt, the former long-time Dallas Cowboys scout and a pioneer in the field, has Warner as the #3 and Holt as the #5 likeliest candidates to make the hall this year. He has Bruce at #16, outside the cut for the finalists.
I recommend reading the piece for a bit of evaluation of the careers of all from an authority who knows well enough. Now I’ll disagree with the Bruce exclusion, though Brandt does acknowledge that “both [Bruce and Holt] belong in the Hall, but it would be a rarity to have two guys who played the same position on the same team make it through at the same time, let alone in a year when yet another Ram (Kurt Warner) will have a high-profile candidacy.” And yes, I’m biased; Bruce was my favorite Ram from the GSOT. But I just can’t understand how you leave the player who is #4 all-time in receiving yards out of the hall...for the third time.
In any case, we’ll have the finalists when they’re released in January.
For now, we wait for the Greatest Show on Turf to get their final W: enshrinement of their most important components in the Hall of Fame to join RB Marshall Faulk, OT Orlando Pace and DB Aeneas Williams.