GREEN BAY – After more than a decade-long wait, former Packers safety LeRoy Butler was announced on Thursday as one of 15 modern-era finalists for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2020.
The four-time All-Pro safety, who has been eligible since 2007, previously was the only offensive or defensive player from the 1990s All-Decade Team that hadn't yet been a finalist for induction. Butler has been a semifinalist for the past three years.
"To me, it's a dream. I feel like a new kid on the playground," said Butler on NFL Network following the announcement. "My mom always told me I could do whatever I wanted to do and deep down inside I knew I was going to bring a trophy back to Titletown, Green Bay."
During his 12 seasons with Green Bay, Butler 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.
The 15 modern-era finalists will be presented to the full 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee during its annual meeting on "Selection Saturday," on Feb. 1, 2020, the day before Super Bowl LIV.
While the selection committee can elect no more than five modern-era players for the Class of 2020, the Pro Football Hall of Fame also will induct 10 additional seniors, three contributors and two coaches as part of its 'Centennial Slate' in celebrating of the NFL's 100th season.
Former Packers head coach Mike Holmgren, former Packers back/punter Verne Lewellen, end LaVern Dilweg, back Cecil Isbell and safety Bobby Dillon are among those 38 finalists who will be deliberated by a special 25-person Blue-Ribbon Panel comprised of Hall of Fame Selectors, Pro Football Hall of Famers, media members, football historians and industry experts.