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The Redskins have a long history of Polynesian players on their roster, a tradition that's continued with defensive lineman Stephen Paea of Tongan descent and offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao of Samoan descent.
Earlier today, three that played in Washington during their careers were named finalists for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016.
Ma'ake Kemoeatu (right, above), Al Noga (right, below) and Joe Salave'a (top), who spent a collective 25 years in the league, joined 22 other finalists, which were selected from 200 nominees. Five coaches/contributors were also finalists.
They were all chosen by a selection committee, which includes Coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride, and Dick Vermeil, past NFLPA President and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, NFL player personnel legend Gil Brandt and Honolulu Sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
In order to be eligible for induction, players must be retired for one full year and must be of Polynesian ancestry.
Over the next few weeks, the committee will meet again to determine the six candidates (five players, on coach/contributor) to be inducted at the Hawai'i Convention Center and at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Jan. 29 & 30, 2016.
In his one year with the Redskins, Kemoeatu (right, above) recorded 19 tackles in 14 games as a nose tackle in 2010. Noga (right, below) also played a season in burgundy and gold at defensive end in 1993, where he collected 32 tackles and four sacks in 16 games.
Salave'a, a defensive tackle, spent the final three seasons of his career in Washington, where he played in 42 games and collected 53 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
The connections between the Redskins and Polynesians run deep. Linebacker Kurt Gouveia, who played the first nine seasons in the NFL with the Redskins, was part of the inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2014.
One of last year's inductees, offensive lineman Ray Schoenke, played 10 seasons with the Redskins from 1966-1975 and was part of the "50th Anniversary Greatest Redskins Team."