CANTON, OHIO – "Selection Saturday" resulted in eight "Heroes of the Game" earning election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Hall's 48-person selection committee held its annual meeting today in Atlanta to elect the Class of 2019.
The new class of Enshrinees was just announced on stage at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special that will air nationally tonight at 9 p.m. (ET and PT) on CBS. The newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame include cornerback CHAMP BAILEY, contributor PAT BOWLEN, contributor GIL BRANDT, tight end TONY GONZALEZ, cornerback TY LAW, center KEVIN MAWAE, safety ED REED, and safety JOHNNY ROBINSON.
Today's annual selection meeting capped a year-round selection process. The newly elected Hall of Famers were chosen from a list of 18 finalists who had been determined earlier by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Selection Committee. Representatives of the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche tabulated all votes during Saturday's meeting.
The Class of 2019 will be officially enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the spectacular Enshrinement Ceremony held inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. The Enshrinement Ceremony is the main event of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls.
PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019
Cornerback … 6-0, 192 … Georgia … 1999-2003 Washington Redskins, 2004-2013 Denver Broncos
15 seasons, 215 games … Washington's first round draft pick (7th overall) in 1999 NFL Draft … Helped Redskins to 10-6 record and division title as rookie … Recorded five interceptions in rookie season including three in one game (vs. Cardinals, Oct. 17, 1999) … Traded to Broncos in 2004 … Key member of secondary that led Denver to five postseason appearances and four division titles including three straight to cap his career … Started at left cornerback in two AFC championship games and Super Bowl XLVIII … Returned interception 100 yards in Broncos victory over Patriots in 2005 AFC Divisional Playoff Game … Tied for NFL lead with career-high 10 interceptions returned for 162 yards and 1 TD, 2006 … Racked up 18 interceptions over two-season span (2005-06) which was most in NFL in more than two decades … Exceptional in pass coverage, rarely flagged for pass interference … Led Redskins in interceptions once, punt returns once … Broncos leading interceptor five seasons … Amassed 52 career interceptions returned for 464 yards and 4 TDs … Recorded 203 passes defensed … Chosen First-Team All-Pro four times, Second-Team All-Pro four times … Named All-NFC twice, All-AFC three times … Voted to 12 Pro Bowls … Selected to NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s … Born June 22, 1978 in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Owner … Oklahoma … 1984-Present Denver Broncos Bowlen shaped the Broncos into one of the most storied franchises in NFL history during his 35 years as owner … Engrained winning culture into organization with immediate results … Broncos posted 13-3 record to win AFC West in Bowlen's first season, 1984 … Sustained and unprecedented success over past three decades has resulted in more than 350 victories, seven Super Bowl appearances and regular-season winning percentage of .603 (1984-2017) … With Bowlen at helm, Broncos have advanced to playoffs 18 times, won 13 division crowns, seven AFC conference championships and three Super Bowl titles (XXXII, XXXIII and 50) … Under his leadership, the Broncos are only NFL team to post 90 or more victories in each of the past three decades … Broncos victory total since Bowlen took over as owner is second most in NFL … Led effort for state-of-the-art Broncos Stadium at Mile High that opened in 2001 …. Member of numerous NFL committees over career including co-chair of NFL Management Council Executive Committee … Key figure to securing NFL's labor and TV contracts … As Chair of NFL Broadcast Committee was responsible for negotiations of $18 billion TV contract, the most lucrative in single-sport history … Named to Broncos Ring of Fame, 2015 … Born Feb. 18, 1944 in Praire du Chien, Wisconsin. GIL BRANDT
Contributor … Wisconsin … 1960-1988 Dallas Cowboys, 1995-present National Football League
Historic half-century career in pro football … As vice president of personnel for the Cowboys, helped build one of most dominant franchises in all of sports … Integral talent scout for Cowboys and member of team's brain trust along with Hall of Famers Tex Schramm and Tom Landry since inception in 1960 through 1988 … Developed innovative scouting and management of personnel systems … Many innovations are standard process for NFL teams today … Early user of computer analysis to evaluate players … Discovered number of free agents such as wide receiver Drew Pearson and defensive backs Cliff Harris and Everson Walls … Responsible for building rosters that led Cowboys to winning records in 20 consecutive seasons (1966-1985) … Cowboys registered 10 or more wins in a season 16 times during period … Helped Dallas to 13 division titles, six conference championships and two Super Bowl victories (VI and XII) … Joined NFL.com at its inception in 1995 and has been key contributor ever since … Regarded as top draft expert … Serves as resident historian for NFL.com and has provided countless number of columns about league's significant events and players … A regular radio personality on SiriusXM NFL Radio … Born March 4, 1933 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Tight End … 6-5, 250 … California … 1997-2008 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009-2013 Atlanta Falcons
17 seasons, 270 games … First-round pick (13th player overall) by Chiefs in 1997 … Named Chiefs' rookie of the year after recording 33 catches for 368 yards and 2 TDs, 1997 … Recorded more than 50 receptions in a season in each of his last 16 years (second most all-time) including 14 seasons with 70 or more catches … Led NFL in receiving with career-best 102 receptions, 2004 … Led Chiefs in receiving eight times … Traded to Atlanta in 2009 … Led Falcons in receiving, 2012… Set Chiefs record with 26 games with 100 or more receiving yards; added five more 100-yard efforts with Falcons … Ranks behind only Jerry Rice in career receptions … Career statistics: 1,325 receptions for 15,127 yards, 111 TDs … Streak of 211 straight games with a catch, 2000-2013 (longest ever by tight end, second longest in NFL history at time of retirement) … Career-long 73-yard TD catch vs. division rival Raiders, Nov. 28, 1999 …Team leader that helped Chiefs and Falcons to two division titles each … Started at tight end for Falcons in 2012 NFC Championship Game, had 8 catches for 78 yards and 1 TD … Named First-Team All-Pro seven times (1999-2003, 2008, 2012) … Voted to 14 Pro Bowls … Named Team MVP by Chiefs (2008) and Falcons (2009) … Selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of 2000s … Born Feb. 27, 1976 in Torrance, California.
Cornerback … 5-11, 200 … Michigan … 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
15 seasons, 203 games … Selected by Patriots in 1st round (23rd player overall) of 1995 NFL Draft … Named All-Pro in 1998 and 2003 … Voted to five Pro Bowls (1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006) … Starting left cornerback in four AFC championship games … Started at left cornerback in three Super Bowls including Patriots victories in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII … Recorded seven tackles, one assisted tackle, two passes defensed and scored on 47-yard interception return for touchdown in New England's 20-17 win over Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI … Intercepted three or more passes in a season nine times … Led NFL in interceptions twice (9 in 1998 with Patriots and career-high 10 in 2005 with Jets) … Team's leading interceptor six times (Patriots – 4, Chiefs – 1, Jets – 1) … Registered 53 career interceptions for 828 yards and 7 pick-sixes … Career-long 74-yard interception return for touchdown against New England (Dec. 26, 2005)… Recorded 37-yard interception return in final game of career … Five career sacks … Selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s … Born Feb. 10, 1974 in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.
Center … 6-4, 289 … Louisiana State … 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
16 seasons, 241 games … Selected by Seahawks in 2nd round (36th player overall) in 1994 NFL Draft … Spent majority of college career as tackle before moving to center during senior year … Played in 14 games, and started 11 games during rookie season with Seahawks … Named to NFL's All-Rookie Team … Played at right guard first two pro seasons, moved permanently to center, 1996 … Noted for leadership and steady play … Helped Jets to division title and championship game appearance in first season in New York, 1998 … Anchored steady Jets offensive line that led way for 44 100-yard games and seven 1,000-yard seasons by Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin … Blocked for 1,000-yard rusher in 13 of his 16 seasons and five different running backs (Chris Warren, 2; Martin, 7; Travis Henry, 1; LenDale White, 1; and Chris Johnson, 2) … Capped career with Pro Bowl season by paving way for 2,000-yard performance by Johnson … Named All-Pro six times (1999-2002, 2004, and 2008) … Voted to eight Pro Bowls including his final two seasons … Selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s … Born Jan. 23, 1971 in Savannah, Georgia.
Safety… 5-11, 200 … Miami (Fla.) … 2002-2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2013 Houston Texans, 2013 New York Jets
12 seasons, 174 games … Selected by Ravens in first round (24th overall) in 2002 NFL Draft … Made instant impact on Baltimore's dominant defense with 5 interceptions as rookie … NFL's top interceptor in 2004, 2008, 2010 to become just second player in NFL history to lead NFL in interceptions three times … Led AFC in interceptions four times … Ravens leading interceptor seven seasons … NFL's Defensive Player of the Year, 2004 after picking off league-high 9 passes returned for then-NFL record 358 yards, 1 TD … Career statistics: 64 interceptions returned for NFL record 1,590 yards and 7 touchdowns …. Owns two longest interception returns in NFL history (107 yards vs. Eagles on Nov. 23, 2008; and 106 yards vs. Browns on Nov. 7, 2004) … Registered 140 career passes defensed … Also returned 30 punts for 205 yards … 3 touchdowns scored on fumble recoveries … Leader on Ravens team that advanced to playoffs seven times, won four division titles, and Super Bowl title … Started at free safety in three AFC championship games … Recorded 5 tackles, 1 interception and 1 pass defensed in Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII win … Selected All-Pro six times … Voted to nine Pro Bowls … Member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s … Born Sept. 11, 1978 in St. Rose, Louisiana.
Safety… 6-1, 205 … Louisiana State … 1960-1971 Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs
12 seasons, 164 games … Selected in first round of 1960 AFL Draft by Texans and 3rd overall in the 1960 NFL Draft by Detroit Lions … Utilized by Texans as running back first two seasons … Moved to defense in third season, responded with 4 interceptions … Recorded multiple interceptions each season after moving to safety … Single-season best 10 interceptions in 1966 (led AFL) and 1970 (led NFL) … Lone career pick-six came on 29-yard interception return vs. Boston Patriots, Sept. 25, 1966 … Helped team to four division titles … Played in three AFL championship game victories … Started in two Super Bowls … Recorded two tackles, one fumble recovery and intercepted one pass for nine yards in Chiefs' 23-7 win over Minnesota Vikings, Super Bowl IV … Named All-AFL five straight seasons (1965-69), All-Pro, 1969 and All-NFL, 1970 … Voted to AFL All-Star Game six times, Pro Bowl once … Named to AFL's All-Time Team … Intercepted 57 career interceptions, returned for 741 yards and 1 TD …Also gained 658 rushing yards, 6 TDs; 77 catches for 1,228 yards, 9 TDs; 21 punt returns for 272 yards, 1 TD; and 3 kickoff returns for 54 yards … Scored one TD on fumble return (46 yards vs. Baltimore Colts on Monday Night Football, Sept. 28, 1970) … Born Sept. 9, 1938 in Delhi, Louisiana.