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Patrick Willis Named Finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2024

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On Wednesday night, former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis was announced among the 15 modern-era player finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

Willis, in his fifth year of eligibility, is a finalist for the third-consecutive year.

The 49ers former first-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft played his entire eight-year career with San Francisco. Willis began his legendary career as the 2007 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.

The linebacker went on to earn seven trips to the Pro Bowl and was named a six-time All-Pro. Willis finished his career with 950 tackles, 60 tackles for a loss, 41 quarterback hits, 20.5 sacks, eight interceptions, two scores, 53 passes defensed and 16 forced fumbles. He led the league in tackles twice, as a rookie in 2007 and again in 2009.

Willis was also named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2010's, entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 2019 and was inducted into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame in 2021.

Located in Canton, Ohio, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's headquarters opened in 1963. The Hall of Fame enshrines the most outstanding personnel in professional football, including players, coaches, officials, franchise owners and front-office personnel. Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. and Bryant Young are just some of the 49ers honored in the prestigious establishment.

Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2024 Finalists:

  • CB Eric Allen – 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2021-24)
  • DE Jared Allen – 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2021-24)
  • T Willie Anderson – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2021-24)
  • G Jahri Evans – 2006-2016 New Orleans Saints, 2017 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2023-24)
  • DE Dwight Freeney – 2002-2012 Indianapolis Colts, 2013-14 San Diego Chargers, 2015 Arizona Cardinals, 2016 Atlanta Falcons, 2017 Seattle Seahawks, 2017 Detroit Lions | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2023-24)
  • TE Antonio Gates – 2003-2018 San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2024)
  • S Rodney Harrison – 1994-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-08 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2021, 2023-24)
  • PR/KR/WR Devin Hester – 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2022-24)
  • WR Torry Holt – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 10 – 2015-2024)
  • WR Andre Johnson – 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2022-24)
  • DE Julius Peppers – 2002-09, 2017-18 Carolina Panthers, 2010-13 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Green Bay Packers (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2024)
  • RB Fred Taylor – 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-2010 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2020-24)
  • WR Reggie Wayne – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2020-24)
  • S Darren Woodson – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2015, 2017, 2019-2024)

The modern-era player finalists are determined by a vote of the Hall's selection committee, a process that began with 173 nominees announced in September. That group of nominees was trimmed down to 25 semifinalists in November, and at the end of the process, the selection committee may elect up to five modern-era players for the Class of 2024.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024 will be inducted during NFL Honors, which takes place at 6 p.m. PT on Thursday, February 8, and airs on CBS, NFL Network and streams on Paramount+ and NFL+.

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