Former Patriots Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Rodney Harrison, Ty Law, Drew Bledsoe, Doug Flutie, and Fred Smerlas were among 94 ex-players and coaches nominated on Wednesday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2017.
First-time nominees included LaDainian Tomlinson, Hines Ward, and Brian Dawkins.
Among the 2016 finalists back on the ballot are Kurt Warner, Terrell Davis, Edgerrin James, and Terrell Owens.
Broncos fined for hits on Newton
Big dents to their bank accounts for helmet-to-helmet hits on Cam Newton aren’t deterring Broncos Brandon Marshall and Darian Stewart.
‘‘I’ll do it again,’’ Marshall declared Wednesday shortly after saying he’ll fight his $24,309 fine for launching himself at Newton in Denver’s 21-20 win over Carolina in the NFL opener last week.
‘‘I’m not going to change the way I play the game,’’ asserted Stewart, who was fined $18,231 for his high hit against the league’s reigning MVP.
Marshall wasn’t flagged for his hit, which the NFL deemed an ‘‘impermissible use of the helmet [including illegal launching]’’ according to its 2016 schedule of fines.
Stewart was fined for roughing the quarterback in the final minute.
Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and cornerback Bradley Roby avoided any fines for their own helmet-to-helmet hits on Newton.
‘‘For what? We didn’t do anything,’’ Miller said.’
Newton dismissed news of the fines.
‘‘My job is to win football games, not lobby for my health,’’ Newton said, adding he feels ‘‘great’’ and he didn’t want to ‘‘dwell on’’ the previous game and the hits.
Watkins questionable, Glenn out
Bills receiver Sammy Watkins was listed as questionable and starting left tackle Cordy Glenn was ruled out of Thursday night’s game against the Jets. Watkins was limited Wednesday in practicing for the first time since complaining of soreness in his surgically repaired left foot following a 13-7 loss at Baltimore Sunday. Glenn was hurt against the Ravens when he aggravated a left ankle injury . . . The Chiefs released third-round pick KeiVarae Russell and brought back linebacker Dezman Moses in a surprise move. Russell, a cornerback, had been passed over by sixth-round pick D.J. White and recent acquisition Kenneth Acker on the depth chart.