Three members of the San Francisco 49ers are another step closer in their pursuit of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. General manager John Lynch, former defensive tackle Bryant Young and former linebacker Patrick Willis are among the 25 Modern-Era Player Semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2021.
This year marks the eighth time that Lynch has been named a semifinalist. San Francisco's general manager constructed one of the all-time great NFL careers while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993-2003) and the Denver Broncos (2004-07). A four-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowl selection, Lynch played in 224 games (191 starts) and registered 1,054 tackles, 13.0 sacks, 26 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and 100 passes defended.
Young, the 49ers first-round (seventh-overall) pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, earned four trips to the Pro Bowl and was named as an All-Pro in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2001 and was a part of San Francisco's Super Bowl XXIX championship team. This marks Young's first time as a nominee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Willis, the 49ers former first-round pick in the 2007 draft, played his entire eight-year career in San Francisco. The linebacker earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl, was a six-time All-Pro, named the 2007 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2007.
The list of semifinalists, which also was announced live on Tuesday on NFL Network, was reduced from an initial group of 130 nominees announced in September. The next step in the Selection Process comes when the semifinalists are trimmed to 15 Modern-Era Finalists.
The Class of 2021 will be determined and announced during the week leading up to Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Fla.