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Hall of Fame: Fred Taylor Named a Modern-Era Finalist


JACKSONVILLE – Fred Taylor is one step closer – and it's an important step.

The Jaguars legend on Wednesday moved closer to football immortality, being named a modern-era finalist for the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Taylor, a Jaguars running back from 1998-2008, was named a finalist for the first time. He was among 15 finalists announced early Wednesday evening on the NFL Network.

Taylor had been named a Hall semifinalist for the fifth time in November.

Taylor, the No. 9 overall selection in the 1998 NFL Draft, rushed for 11,695 yards and 66 touchdowns in 13 NFL seasons. He rushed for 11,271 yards and 62 touchdowns with Jacksonville – and is the franchise's all-time rushing leader.

Taylor, a member of the Pride of the Jaguars, ranks No. 17 on the NFL's all-time rushing list and his 4.6-yards-per carry average ranks behind only Barry Sanders and Jim Brown among players with more career rushing yards.

Two first-year eligible players were among the finalists named Wednesday:

  • Tight end Antonio Gates
  • Defensive end Julius Peppers

To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated individual must not have participated as an active player for five consecutive seasons.

The other 12 modern-era finalists:

  • Wide receiver Reggie Wayne
  • Wide receiver Torry Holt
  • Wide receiver Andre Johnson
  • Returner Devin Hester
  • Defensive end Jared Allen
  • Safety Rodney Harrison
  • Safety Darren Woodson
  • Cornerback Eric Allen
  • Offensive tackle Willie Anderson
  • Guard Jahri Evans
  • Defensive end Dwight Freeney
  • Linebacker Patrick Willis

The list of finalists was reduced from a list of 25 semifinalists announced in November. That list was reduced from an initial group of 173 nominees announced in September. No more than five modern-era candidates make the hall each year.

The Class of 2024 will be announced February 8.

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