GREEN BAY – Former Packers safety LeRoy Butler is among the 25 modern-era semifinalists for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second consecutive year.
Butler, a second-round pick out of Florida State in 1990, made four All-Pro teams during his 12 seasons with the Packers. He also was 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. Three other individuals with connections to that team – quarterback Brett Favre, defensive end Reggie White and general manager Ron Wolf – already have been enshrined in Canton.
Clay Matthews Jr., the father of the Packers' six-time Pro Bowl linebacker, also was selected as a semifinalist for the third time (2012, 2017, 2019).
The next step in the selection process comes in January when Butler will look to make the cut to 15 finalists for the first time. He's currently the only offensive or defensive player from the 1990s All-Decade Team that has yet to be a finalist for enshrinement.
The 25 semifinalists include eight defensive backs, four linebackers, one defensive lineman, one running back, three receivers, one tight end, four offensive linemen and three coaches.
Former Packers coach Mike Holmgren, receiver Sterling Sharpe, and safety Nick Collins also were among the preliminary 103 modern-era nominees for the Class of 2019, but didn't make the cut to 25.