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Atwater, Davis, Lynch named Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists

Posted Jan 7, 2016

Three Broncos were named Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists as the list of semifinalists was whittled down to 15 possible selections.

Former Broncos safety Steve Atwater, running back Terrell Davis and safety John Lynch were all selected to make the cut for the group of 15 finalists for the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, it was announced Thursday evening. 

"Three great names and three deserving guys," said John Elway, a former teammate of Atwater and Davis, and the Broncos' current Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager. "It would be nice to see all three of them get in this year, but we'll take one. They're all qualified and all eventually should be in the Hall of Fame, but it's a thrill to have three Broncos named finalists, and we're rooting for all three of them."

For Atwater, who has been a semifinalist five times, this marks his first time as a finalist for the Hall of Fame. Among his accolades are eight Pro Bowls in his 11-year career, two Super Bowl victories in three appearances and a selection to the All-1990s first team. From 1989 to 1999, his physicality and penchant for forcing turnovers made him one of the more dynamic players on defense. Christian Okoye can certainly attest to that.

This is Davis' second time as a finalist, and the only thing working against his outstanding list of honors is that injury cut his career short. He is the Broncos' all-time leading rusher, rushing for 1,000 yards in each of his first four seasons. His peak was in 1998, when Davis ran for 2,008 yards, then the third-highest total in NFL history. For as good as Davis was in the regular season, he was even better in the playoffs. He only played eight games in the playoffs, but he surpassed 100 rushing yards in all but one game, averaging 142.5 yards per contest.

Lynch, who played in Denver from 2004-07 and made the Pro Bowl in nine of his 15 years in the NFL, makes his third appearance as a Hall of Fame finalist. His heavy hitting for the Broncos, and particularly for the Buccaneers in the late '90s and early 2000s, Lynch made himself into one of the most feared safeties in the league.

"I know the Broncos have some more Hall of Famers coming, so I’m excited," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "Hopefully those types of things happen. We’ll see."