2 former Detroit Lions among 25 semifinalists for 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame class

Two former Detroit Lions, though hardly best-known for their time in Detroit, are among the semifinalists for the 2024 Hall of Fame class.

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As the Pro Football Hall of Fame class whittles down its 2024 class, former Detroit Lions head coach Buddy Parker is among 16 finalists in the Coach/Contributor category. Several former Lions players were among the initial nominees for induction next summer, but the most notable among them in terms of the days as a Lion have not advanced to the next stage.

The Hall of Fame announced the 25 semifinalists for the 2024 class on Tuesday morning. Two former Lions, wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive end Dwight Freeney, made the cut. From the aforementioned list of early nominees, former Lions Lomas Brown, Jason Hanson, Herman Moore, Dre' Bly and Jeff Garcia did not advance to be semifinalists.

Over 16 seasons, most notably with the Indianapolis Colts among six teams he played for, Freeney had 125.5 sacks (18th all-time). He was a seven-time Pro Bowl and three-time All-Pro, as well as a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 2000's. He won a Super Bowl with the Colts in 2006.

Over 14 seasons, with the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and the Lions, Boldin had 1,076 receptions (ninth all-time) for 13,779 yards (14th all-time) and 82 touchdowns (29th all-time).

Former Lions Anquan Boldin, Dwight Freeney among 2024 Hall of Fame semifinalists

In terms of what they did in a Lions' uniform, Boldin clearly did more than Freeney.

During his final NFL season (2016), Boldin had 67 receptions for 584 yards and eight touchdowns for the Lions. The catch total was second on the team, and the touchdowns led the team.

One year later, Freeney spent part of his final NFL season with the Lions. He had zero sacks and no other counting stats over five games (128 snaps).

Here's the entire list of 25 modern-era player semifinalists for the 2024 Hall of Fame class.

  • Eric Allen, CB
  • Jared Allen, DE
  • Willie Anderson, T
  • Tiki Barber, RB
  • Anquan Boldin, WR
  • Jahri Evans, G
  • London Fletcher, LB
  • Dwight Freeney, DE
  • Antonio Gates, TE
  • Eddie George, RB
  • James Harrison, LB
  • Rodney Harrison
  • Devin Hester, PR/KR/WR
  • Torry Holt, WR
  • Andre Johnson, WR
  • Robert Mathis, DE/LB
  • Julius Peppers, DE
  • Steve Smith Sr., WR
  • Fred Taylor, RB
  • Darren Woodson, S
  • Patrick Willis, LB
  • Vince Wilfork, DT
  • Reggie Wayne, WR
  • Ricky Watters, RB
  • Hines Ward, WR

Per the Hall of Fame's announcement of the 2024 semifinalists, the next step is to get to 15 modern-era player finalists. There will be a total of 19 finalists, counting others like Parker.

"The next step in the selection process comes when the list is trimmed further — to 15 Modern-Era Player Finalists. That list increases to 19 Finalists overall with the inclusion of the recommended Nominees of the Hall of Fame’s Coach/Contributor Committee, Buddy Parker; and its Seniors Committee, Randy Gradishar, Steve McMichael and Art Powell."

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