Yet again, ex-Buc Lynch a finalist for Hall of Fame

Safety Troy Polamalu, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and linebacker Patrick Willis are first-year eligible players among the 25 semifinalists of the modern era for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Also on the list, which will be cut to 15 on Jan. 2, are previous finalists John Lynch, Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Steve Hutchinson, Isaac Bruce, Edgerrin James and Alan Faneca. Lynch made it to the finalist point for the last six seasons, but has not made the final cut.

Five former players will be elected to the class of 2020 on Feb. 1, the day before the Super Bowl. They will be inducted into the Canton, Ohio, shrine in August.

The hall also will induct 10 senior candidates, three contributors and two coaches in a special centennial class in 2020.

There are 14 defensive players, 10 on offense, and one special-teamer, Steve Tasker, who also played wide receiver for Buffalo.

Four players make the semifinals for the first time: linebacker Carl Banks, running backs Fred Taylor and Ricky Watters, and defensive tackle Bryant Young. Every other semifinalist for 2020 has gotten this far before.

There are six defensive backs in the group: Polamalu, Lynch, Atwater, Ronde Barber, LeRoy Butler and Darren Woodson.

Five receivers make the list: Wayne, Bruce, Torry Holt, Hines Ward, and Tasker. There also are five linebackers: Willis, Banks, Clay Matthews, Sam Mills and Zach Thomas.

Hutchinson, Faneca and Boselli are the offensive linemen. Taylor, Watters and James are the running backs. Defensive linemen are Young, Richard Seymour and Simeon Rice.

The semifinalists, in alphabetical order:

   Steve Atwater, safety
   Carl Banks, linebacker
   Ronde Barber, cornerback/safety
   Tony Boselli, tackle
   Isaac Bruce, wide receiver
   LeRoy Butler, safety
   Alan Faneca, guard
   Torry Holt, wide receiver
   Steve Hutchinson, guard
   Edgerrin James, running back
   John Lynch, safety
   Clay Matthews, linebacker
   Sam Mills, linebacker
   Troy Polamalu, safety
   Simeon Rice, defensive end
   Richard Seymour, defensive end/defensive tackle
   Steve Tasker, wide receiver/special teamer
   Fred Taylor, running back
   Zach Thomas, linebacker
   Hines Ward, wide receiver
   Ricky Watters, running back
   Reggie Wayne, wide receiver
   Patrick Willis, linebacker
   Darren Woodson, safety
   Bryant Young, defensive tackle