Peyton Manning headlines Pro Football Hall of Fame's finalists for class of 2021
Peyton Manning is officially a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist. The former Tennessee Volunteer headlines the group of 15 modern-era players announced Tuesday.
Manning is among a group of six individuals who are finalists for the first time, including four first-year eligible players: Manning, defensive end Jared Allen, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, and defensive back Charles Woodson. Two others — defensive back Ronde Barber and linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. — have been eligible for the Hall of Fame previously, but this year marks their first time as finalists.
The Modern-Era Player Finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee from a list of 130 nominees named in September that was reduced to 25 Semifinalists on Nov. 24.
Manning had a legendary 18-year career with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos including four Super Bowl appearances resulting in two victories (XLI with Colts, 50 with Broncos). He was the Super Bowl XLI MVP.
Manning held numerous NFL and team records at the time of retirement in 2015, including career passing yards (71,940), career passing touchdowns (539) and consecutive seasons with at least 25 passing touchdowns (13). He set the single-season passing yardage record (5,477) in 2013.
Former LSU standout Alan Fancea is a finalist for the sixth time. The Hall noted the highlights of his pro career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals:
Missed just one game in career … Earned starting role in sixth game of rookie season … Helped pave way for 1,000-yard rushing season by Jerome Bettis to earn All-Rookie acclaim … Key leader of Steelers team that captured four division titles, including three in four-year span … Helped Steelers post 10-plus wins five times, including regular-season records of 13-3 (2001) and 15-1 (2004) … Veteran leadership integral to Jets playoff run to reach AFC championship in 2009 … Named All-Pro (first team) six times (2001-02, 2004-07) and second team in 2003 and 2008 … All-AFC seven consecutive seasons, 2001-07 … Selected to nine consecutive Pro Bowls … Started 14 career playoff games, including at left guard in four AFC Championship Games and Super Bowl XL … Dominating run blocker, led way for teams that finished among the NFL’s top 10 in rushing 11 times in 13 seasons … Blocked for nine 1,000-yard rushers and five 3,000-yard passers … Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
Former Georgia Bulldog Richard Seymour is a finalist for the third time:
Integral member of defense that helped Patriots to six division titles over seven-season span … Patriots teams posted 10 or more wins seven times during his eight seasons with team … Led Patriots in sacks twice (2002, 2008) … Registered a career-high 8 sacks in 2008 … Amassed 57.5 career sacks … Recorded 3 or more sacks in every season but one … In games in which he recorded a sack, teams had a record of 46-8 (.852) … Returned fumble a franchise-record 68 yards for TD against Buffalo Bills on Oct. 3, 2004 … Recorded 39 passes defensed, two interceptions in career … Played in four AFC Championship Games and four Super Bowls, including victories in Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX … Selected first team All-Pro three consecutive seasons (2003-05) and second team twice (2006, 2011) … All-AFC five times … Voted to seven Pro Bowls … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
The 2021 Modern-Era Player Finalists with their positions, years and teams:
Jared Allen, Defensive End – 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers
Ronde Barber, Cornerback/Safety – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tony Boselli, Tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve)
LeRoy Butler, Safety – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers
Alan Faneca, Guard – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
Torry Holt, Wide Receiver – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars
Calvin Johnson, Wide Receiver – 2007-2015 Detroit Lions
John Lynch, Safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning, Quarterback – 1998-2011 Indianapolis Colts (injured reserved 2011), 2012-15 Denver Broncos
Clay Matthews, Linebacker – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons
Sam Mills, Linebacker – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers
Richard Seymour, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders
Zach Thomas, Linebacker – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys
Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts
Charles Woodson, Cornerback/Safety – 1998-2005, 2013-15 Oakland Raiders, 2006-2012 Green Bay Packers