Former Broncos Steve Atwater and John Lynch took the next step toward induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame when they were named Modern-Era semifinalists for the Class of 2020 on Tuesday.
The Hall of Fame will narrow the list of 25 semifinalists to 15 finalists in early January. The Hall of Fame's selection committee will then select five Modern-Era players on Feb.1 for induction into the Hall. Those five men will comprise a portion of a special 20-person Centennial Class, which includes 10 senior players, three contributors and two coaches.
Atwater, a nine-time semifinalist and two-time finalist, and Lynch, an eight-time semifinalist and six-time finalist, were both finalists for the Class of 2019.
Atwater spent 10 of his 11 NFL seasons in Denver, where he recorded eight Pro Bowl nods and two first-team All-Pro selections. He tallied 1,356 career tackles and 24 interceptions and was named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team.
Lynch, who has two first-team All-Pro selections to his name, was a Pro Bowler in each of his four seasons in Denver. Including his time in Tampa, Lynch recorded 1,054 career tackles, 13.0 sacks, 26 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles. He was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times.
Simeon Rice, who played six games for the Broncos in 2007, was also named a semifinalist.
Jason Elam, Chester McGlockton, Clinton Portis, Neil Smith and Rod Smith are players with Broncos ties who were Modern-Era candidates who did not make the 25-player list of semifinalists.