GREEN BAY – Former Packers safety LeRoy Butler is one of 15 modern-era finalists for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second consecutive year.
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 and 20½ sacks in 181 regular-season games.
Inventor of the Lambeau Leap, Butler was a versatile centerpiece of defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur's defense during the Packers' Super Bowl XXXI championship run. He's currently the only offensive or defensive player from the NFL's 1990s All-Decade First Team yet to be enshrined.
"I didn't play with LeRoy, but I was a big fan of his and I do believe he's a Hall of Famer," said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers of Butler in November. "It would be awesome to have him get in with Charles. Looking at some stats, over 35 interceptions and over 15 sacks, which hadn't been done by any player in his era, I think the numbers speak for themselves. The selection speaks for itself, (Butler's) play speaks for itself and it would be great to see him get in."
Former Packers defensive back Charles Woodson is also among this year's 15 modern-era finalists, all of whom will be presented to the full 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee next month before Super Bowl LV, along with the Pro Football Hall of Fame's coach, contributor and senior nominees: Tom Flores, Bill Nunn and Drew Pearson, respectively.
While there is no overall set number for any class of enshrinees, the bylaws for the Selection Committee provide that between four and eight new members will be selected, but a maximum of five can come from the 15 modern-era finalists.
15 modern-era Hall of Fame finalists
- Peyton Manning, QB – 1998-2011 Indianapolis Colts, 2012-2015 Denver Broncos
- Calvin Johnson, WR – 2007-2015 Detroit Lions
- Torry Holt, WR -- 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Reggie Wayne, WR -- 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts
- Charles Woodson, DB – 1998-2005, 2013-2015 Oakland Raiders, 2006-2012 Green Bay Packers
- Ronde Barber, DB – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Tony Boselli, T – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
- LeRoy Butler, S -- 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers
- John Lynch, FS -- 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
- Jared Allen, DE – 2004-2007 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-2015 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers
- Richard Seymour, DE/DT -- 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders
- Zach Thomas, LB -- 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys
- Clay Matthews, LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-1996 Atlanta Falcons
- Sam Mills, LB -- 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers