Ball-hawking safety Kenny Easley, who starred for the Seattle Seahawks in seven seasons during the 1980s, was picked by the Hall of Fame Seniors Committee as the Senior Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 today.
The Hall’s Selection Committee, at its annual meeting on Feb. 4 in Houston, will consider 18 finalists, including one Senior (Easley), two Contributors (to be named Tuesday), and 15 Modern-Era finalists (to be determined from a preliminary list announced in mid-September).
Current bylaws call for a class no smaller than four or larger than eight. The Senior Finalist will be voted on for election independent of the other finalists. Easley must receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists.
Easley, drafted with the No. 4 overall pick in 1981 out of UCLA, amassed 32 interceptions in his career, which was highlighted by him being named the Defensive Player of the Year in 1984. That season, Easley led the NFL with 10 interceptions.
Easley was a first-team All-Pro selection in four consecutive seasons (1982-85) and was voted to five Pro Bowls. He was also selected as a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1980s.
The Seniors Committee is comprised of nine members of the overall selection committee. Through mail vote, the 2017 senior nominees were reduced to a final list of candidates. Then, on a rotating basis, five of the nine members met at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton to discuss each of the senior candidates and select the finalist. A senior nominee is a player whose career ended at least 25 years ago.