2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame class: Tony Boselli becomes first Jaguar to earn gold jacket

The 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class was announced Thursday night on NFL Honors. The players selected for induction will receive their honorary gold jackets in Canton, Ohio on Friday, August 5, a day after the annual Hall of Fame Game. They will officially be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 6. 

This year’s class includes five modern-era inductees, one senior inductee, one coach and one contributor. Four of the five modern-era inductees were defensive players, while this year’s senior inductee is the only skill player in this year’s class. 

Here’s a look at who will receive a gold jacket, a bronze bust and an eternal place in NFL history this summer. 

2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class 

Modern-era inductees

  • OT Tony Boselli (1995-02): A member of the NFL’s All-1990s Team, Boselli was a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro. His presence helped the Jaguars reach two AFC title games during the franchise’s first five years of existence. 
  • S LeRoy Butler (1990-01): A versatile safety, Butler’s physicality helped the Packers force several turnovers of Drew Bledsoe in Super Bowl XXXI. Butler was named an All-Pro each year from 1996-98. 
  • LB Sam Mills (1986-97): A five-time Pro Bowler, Mills racked up nearly 1,300 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 22 forced fumbles and 23 fumble recoveries. At age 37, he received his first All-Pro nod while helping lead the Panthers’ run to an NFC Championship Game appearance. 
  • DL Richard Seymour (2001-12): The sixth overall pick in the 2001 draft, Seymour helped the Patriots capture their first of six Super Bowls during his rookie season. Seven years later, Seymour left New England as a three-time champion, five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro. Seymour added two more Pro Bowl selections to his resume during his four years with the Raiders
  • DT Bryant Young (1994-07): As a rookie, Young helped the 49ers win the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl. A four-time Pro Bowler, Young won Comeback Player of the Year honors in 1999 after fracturing his leg the previous season. Young is second in 49ers franchise history with 89.5 sacks. 

Senior inductee

  • WR Cliff Branch (1972-85) 

Branch helped revolutionize the game by becoming one of the most dangerous deep ball threats of his era. In 1974, his first season as a starter, Branch led the league in receiving yards and touchdown receptions. Over the next three years, he would earn three Pro Bowl selections and two All-Pro nods while again leading the NFL in touchdown receptions in 1976. That was also the season where Branch helped the Raiders compile a 13-1 regular season record en route to the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl win.

Coach inductee 

After leading UCLA to a Rose Bowl victory over Woody Hayes’ Buckeyes, Vermeil took over a struggling Eagles franchise in 1976 and turned them into a playoff team in 1978. Two years later, Vermeil guided the Eagles to their first-ever NFC title. 

After a 14-year break, Vermeil returned to the sidelines in 1997, taking over a Rams team that was among the worst in football during the decade. After two losing seasons, Vermeil and the Rams went on a magic carpet ride in 1999, as the Rams transformed into the “Greatest Show on Turf” behind quarterback Kurt Warner, running back Marshall Faulk and receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. The ’99 Rams won 13 regular season games before defeating the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, evening Vermeil’s Super Bowl record in the process.

Contributor inductee

Regarded as the “father of modern officiating,” McNally was an NFL referee during the 1960s before becoming the league’s supervisor of officials in 1968. McNally started the first program to train and evaluate football officials in professional sports. McNally is credited for several innovations to officiating that includes ushering in instant replay in 1986. After retiring from the NFL in 1991, McNally returned in 1995 as an assistant supervisor of officials and remained in that position until 2007. He continued to work for officials as an observer until 2015. 

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