MIAMI — Twenty years after his retirement and in his third time as a finalist, former Broncos safety Steve Atwater was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020 on Saturday.
Atwater’s wait is over. Finally.
In his third time as a finalist, Atwater crossed the finish line, becoming the 11th former Broncos player to gain induction.
Former Broncos safety John Lynch was not elected.
Boulder native Tony Boselli, in his fourth year as a finalist (and third straight year making the cut to the final 10), was not elected.
The class will be recognized on the field during Sunday’s San Francisco-Kansas City Super Bowl.
Safety John Lynch, who played the final four years of his career for the Broncos (2004-07), did not make the cut. He was a finalist for the seventh time.
The 48-member selection committee gathered early Saturday morning for the day-long proceedings, cutting the list from 15 to 10 and from 10 to five. An inductee needed to receive at least 80% of the vote.
The modern-era class of five will be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend on Aug. 6-9 in Canton, Ohio.
Last month, a 25-member selection committee gathered in Canton to choose the 20-member “Centennial Class” — Harold Carmichael, Jimbo Covert, Bill Cowher, Bobby Dillon, Cliff Harris, Winston Hill, Jimmy Johnson, Alex Karras, Steve Sabol, Donnie Shell, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie (a Broncos coach and scout after his playing career), Ed Sprinkle, Paul Tagliabue and George Young.
Entering the vote, of the 66 players on the NFL All-Decade teams of the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, Atwater was one of only three (Drew Pearson/and fellow finalist LeRoy Butler) not in the Hall.
An eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection, Atwater was a first-round pick (No. 20 overall) in 1989 out of Arkansas. He started all but one of his 167 regular-season games for the Broncos and was a part of two Super Bowl teams. He finished his career in 1999 with the New York Jets.
Atwater joins cornerback Champ Bailey, quarterback John Elway, tight end Shannon Sharpe and running backs Floyd Little and Terrell Davis as Hall of Famers who played all or a majority of their career with the Broncos. Late owner Pat Bowlen was inducted last year.
This story will be updated.