ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --A former hard-hitting Broncos and Buccaneers safety is now one step closer to adding Hall of Famer to his impressive resume.
Thursday night, safety John Lynch was announced as one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
It marks the first time he has made it this far in the process.
The Class of 2014 will be named on the eve of Super Bowl XLVIII -- Saturday, February 1.
The inductees will come from the 17 total finalists -- which also includes the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame's Seniors Committee, punter Ray Guy and defensive end Claude Humphrey.
Although there is no set number of enshrinees for any Hall of Fame Class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six or seven enshrinees can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected.
Below is a closer look at Lynch's credentials.
Lynch spent the majority of his career with a different team -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But Lynch played in Denver in the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons before retiring prior to the start of the 2008 campaign.
In his career, the hard-hitting safety registered nine seasons in which he logged 90 more more tackles.
The third-round pick out of Stanford played 15 seasons, earning nine Pro Bowl berths. He snared 26 interceptions, notched 13 sacks, forced 16 fumbles and recovered nine more in his career.
A first-time Hall-of-Fame finalist, Lynch started at least 14 games in 11 separate seasons, including six in which he started all 16.
Former Broncos safety Steve Atwater, running back Terrell Davis and linebacker Karl Mecklenburg were semifinalists for the Class of 2014, but did not make it to the list of 15 modern-era finalists.
The 15 Finalists for the @ProFootballHOF Class of 2014! #PFHOF14 pic.twitter.com/zcBe3HJ1bt — NFL (@nfl) January 10, 2014