Former Packers DBs LeRoy Butler, Charles Woodson named Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalists 

Butler is among 25 modern-era nominees for fourth straight year, while Woodson is in his first year of eligibility

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LeRoy Butler and Charles Woodson

GREEN BAY – LeRoy Butler and Charles Woodson are each one step closer to Canton.

The former Packers defensive backs are among the 25 modern-era semifinalists for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2021.

It's the fourth consecutive year Butler has been named as a semifinalist, while last year marked the first time the four-time All-Pro safety was among the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 15 finalists.

Woodson is one of four first-year eligible players to be among this year's semifinalists, joining quarterback Peyton Manning, receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive end Jared Allen.

Butler, during his 12 seasons with Green Bay, became the first defensive back in NFL history to eclipse 20 interceptions and 20 sacks, finishing his career with 38 interceptions, 20½ sacks in 181 regular-season games.

Synonymous with the Lambeau Leap, Butler was a versatile centerpiece of defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur's defense during the Packers' Super Bowl XXXI championship run.

A second-round pick out of Florida State in 1992, Butler is currently the only offensive or defensive player from the 1990s All-Decade Team yet to be enshrined.

Woodson, who came to the Packers as a free agent in 2006, posted 38 interceptions and 115 passes defensed during his seven seasons in Green Bay.

Lauded for his exceptional talent, playmaking abilities and outstanding leadership, Woodson was selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls (2008-11) while with the Packers and led the league in interceptions in 2009 and 2011.

He holds franchise records for the most touchdowns on interceptions (nine) and the most defensive touchdowns (10). In 2009, arguably his finest season as a pro, he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by The Associated Press and earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. His nine interceptions that year are tied for the second most in a season in Packers history.

In recognition of his incredible toughness, Woodson was honored by his teammates with the 2010 Ed Block Courage Award, the same year he helped lead the Packers, with one of the league's best defenses, to a victory in Super Bowl XLV.

The next step in the selection process comes when the semifinalists are trimmed to 15 modern-era finalists. That list increases to 18 finalists with the inclusion of the recommended nominees of the Hall of Fame's Coach, Contributor and Senior Committees: Tom Flores, Bill Nunn and Drew Pearson, respectively.

The Class of 2021 will be determined and announced during the week leading up to Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Fla. While there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Bylaws for the Selection Committee provide that between four and eight new members will be selected. 

This year's 25 semifinalists include seven defensive backs, five linebackers, four receivers, three defensive linemen, three offensive linemen, one quarterback, one running back and one special-teamer.

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