Gates, Marshall, Peppers among first-time HOF nominees
The Pro Football Hall of Fame released its 173-person Modern-Era ballot on Tuesday that included nine first-time nominees with tight end Antonio Gates, wide receiver Brandon Marshall and defensive end Julius Peppers among them.
The list will be culled down to 25 semifinalists in November.
Gates, 43, spent all 16 of his seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers from 2003 to 2018. Widely considered one of the greatest tight ends of all-time, the Detroit native is the all-time leader in touchdowns (116) and third all-time in receiving yards (11,841), and receptions (955) at the position.
A six-time Pro Bowler, Marshall spent 13 seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks from 2006 to 2018). In 179 games, Marshall hauled in 970 receptions (16th all-time) for 12,351 yards (23rd all-time) and 83 TDs (25th all-time).
Peppers spent 17 seasons in the league from 2002 to 2018 with the Carolina Panthers, Bears and Green Bay Packers after being taken with the second overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft out of North Carolina. A three-time All-Pro, Peppers finished his career with 719 tackles and 159.5 sacks (fifth-most in history) in 266 games.
The other first-time nominees are five-time 1,000-yards-plus running back Jamaal Charles, Super Bowl-winning wide receiver Jordy Nelson, offensive linemen Josh Sitton, TJ Lang and Max Unger and two-time All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
Art Powell, Steve "Mongo" McMichael and Randy Gradishar have already been named Seniors Finalists, while Buddy Parker is a finalist from the Coach/Contributor category.
The 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for next August in Canton, OH.
The full ballot can be found here.