FOXBOROUGH, Mass -- A 10-person senior selection committee consisting of some of the most tenured Patriots beat writers and staff has been established to ensure that early-era players who are deserving of Patriots Hall of Fame induction are given that consideration.
The committee will meet every five years. Induction of a candidate is not automatic or mandatory and will be limited to no more than one inductee each meeting. Candidates must be retired for at least 25 years to be eligible for senior selection committee consideration. Previous finalists for the Patriots Hall of Fame who have been retired for at least 25 years will automatically be eligible for consideration. If there are less than three previous hall of fame finalists who qualify in any given year, the senior selection committee will be allowed to nominate other qualifying players who are deserving of the consideration. The early era candidate will need to be approved by a minimum vote of 80 percent of the senior selection committee to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Since 2007, a committee consisting of media, staff and alumni has gathered annually to discuss Patriots players who are eligible and deserving of Hall of Fame induction. Any player or head coach who has been out of the NFL for at least four years is eligible. Each committee member is given the opportunity to present a candidate for consideration. Once the presentations are completed, the committee votes and the top three candidates, based on total points, are presented as that year's nominations for Hall of Fame induction. Fans are then given an opportunity to vote for the player they feel is most deserving of the team's highest honor. The top vote getter receives that honor and a formal induction ceremony is held just outside The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon during the season. The Patriots are the only team in the NFL that allows its fans to choose a hall of fame inductee annually.
Today, the Senior Selection Committee for the Patriots Hall of Fame will have the opportunity to meet and discuss the merits of previous hall of fame finalists who qualify as early-era candidates. If the committee selects one of the players, the selection will be announced this Sunday.
The Patriots 2011 Hall of Fame Nomination Committee will also meet today to nominate the three finalists for this year's fan selection process. The nominees will be announced and voting will begin on Friday, April 15. Fans will have one month to vote for one of the three finalists they feel is most deserving of the hall of fame honor. Voting will close on Sunday, May 15 and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter.