LeRoy Butler hopes third time is the charm for Pro Football Hall of Fame


GREEN BAY — The Pro Football Hall of Fame has released its list of semifinalists for induction next year, and there’s a familiar name on the list once again.

LeRoy Butler will hope the third time is the charm after coming up just shy the last two years, despite being the only first-team all-decade member from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s still not in the Hall of Fame.

Butler played in 181 games over 12 seasons, all with Green Bay. He finished his career with 38 interceptions, 20.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries and 3 defensive touchdowns — one of which created the Lambeau Leap. He was also the first player in NFL history to finish his career with at least 20 sacks and 20 interceptions.

Butler is not the only former Packer on the list of semifinalists this year, though. Receiver Donald Driver, safety Nick Collins and kicker Ryan Longwell are also on the list of nominees. A number of others who played shorter stints in Green Bay are also eligible, including receiver Andre Rison, tight end Wesley Walls, center Jeff Saturday, punter Sean Landeta, running back Eric Metcalf, linebacker Seth Joyner, linebacker Hardy Nickerson and cornerback Allen Rossum.

Last year, former Packers defensive back Charles Woodson was inducted.

Other notable players nominated this year include 2020 finalists in former Rams receiver Torry Holt, former Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli, former Vikings and Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen, former Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour, former Saints and Panthers linebacker Sam Mills, former Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas, and former Buccaneers defensive back Ronde Barber.

A total of 15 finalists will be picked from the full group of nominees.