2020 Football Hall of Fame Class and 2019 NFL Top Performers Announced: Here's Everything to Know

The National Football League used Saturday to announce its top players and coaches from the 2019 season, and the Professional Football Hall of Fame used the day to announce the five players from the modern era who will be inducted this summer.

The Hall of Fame had already named 15 greats who will be inducted, and Sunday's crew will be the headliners when they take the stage in Canton, Ohio, to receive their gold jackets and forever be enshrined in the Hall.

Here are the five modern-era players—two of them safeties—named Saturday.

Steve Atwater

Atwater was a safety known for big hits on offensive players who either had the ball or got in his way. He was picked by the Denver Broncos in 1989, and made the NFL's all-rookie team that fall. He had more than 1,000 tackles in 11 seasons, and he was named to the Pro Bowl eight times.

He appeared in three Super Bowls, was a two-time all-pro and a member of the 90s all-decade team. He also had 24 career interceptions.

Isaac Bruce

Bruce played wide receiver with the Rams in Los Angeles and made the move with the team to St. Louis, where they became "The Greatest Show on Turf." He caught 13 touchdowns and a career-high 1,781 yards in 1995, which was his second year in the league. He NFL with 1,338 receiving yards the following season. He was part of the Rams' 1999 team that marched to the Super Bowl with a high-flying offense, and he caught a pass and sprinted 73 yards for the game-winning score—the only Super Bowl win in Rams franchise history.

Bruce retired in 2010 as the team's all-time leader in receptions and with 15,209 receiving yards, which was second-most in NFL history.

Steve Hutchinson

Hutchinson was an offensive lineman drafted in 2001, and he made the all-rookie team that fall with the Seattle Seahawks. He played for the Seahawks, Vikings and Titans, played in Super Bowl 50 and paved the way for star running backs Shaun Alexander (Seahawks) and Adrian Peterson (Vikings).

Hutchinson was a member of the all-decade team in the 2000s, and he was a five-time all-pro and seven time Pro Bowl selection before he retired after the 2012 season.

Edgerrin James

James had the luxury of playing in Peyton Manning's early offense, and it was the running back's legs that did as much damage as Manning's arm. James led the NFL in rushing in both 1999 and 2000, winning Rookie of the Year and all-pro in 1999. James was part of a high-octane offense that won four-consecutive division titles and reached an AFC title game.

James never made the Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts, but he made it with the Arizona Cardinals in 2008. He was named to four Pro Bowls and rushed for 1,000 yards or more in seven seasons—more than 1,500 yards four times—in his 11-year career.

Troy Polamalu and Pittsburgh Steelers
Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is introduced prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at Heinz Field on November 30, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Troy Polamalu

Polamalu was a longtime safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers known for his long-flowing hair and vicious hits on receivers. NFL.com called him "the preeminent safety of his generation." His Steelers won the AFC North five times, made the playoffs seven times and reached the Super Bowl three different times in his 12 seasons.

He was a member of the 2000s all-decade team, and he was named 2010 Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. He was named to the Pro Bowl eight times, and he was a four-time all-ro.

NFL's 2019 Individual Awards

The NFL named its superlative players and coaches for the 2019 season. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was the unanimous league MVP—only the second player to win the award unanimously (Tom Brady, 2010).

Here are the NFL award winners announced Saturday night:


Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

Offensive Player of the Year

Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

Defensive Player of the Year

Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots

Offensive Rookie of the Year

Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Nick Bosa, DE, San Francisco 49ers

Comeback Player of the Year

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans

Coach of the Year

John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

Assistant Coach of the Year

Greg Roman, Baltimore Ravens

Walter Payton Man of the Year

Calais Campbell, Carolina Panthers