Peyton Manning was one of 17 players announced as Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalists.
While the expansive 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class didn’t get to be properly inducted due to the coronavirus pandemic, they will combine with an equally illustrious 2021 class for one combined induction that will put dozens of NFL legends in Canton forever.
Before that ceremony, the inductees, which could number anywhere between four and eight, have to be announced. The final deliberations will begin soon, as the 17 finalists, led by names like Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, and Calvin Johnson, have officially been announced.
Some of these 17 football legends will end up enshrined in the Hall of Fame
QB Peyton Manning
S Charles Woodson
WR Calvin Johnson
WR Torry Holt
WR Reggie Wayne
S LeRoy Butler
S John Lynch
CB Ronde Barber
LB Clay Matthews Jr.
DE Jared Allen
DE Richard Seymour
OG Alan Faneca
OT Tony Boselli
LB Sam Mills
LB Zach Thomas
WR Drew Pearson (Senior Finalist)
Coach Tom Flores (Senior Finalist)
Manning, who retired as the all-time leader in touchdown passes after winning five MVP awards, and Woodson, who could be considered the greatest defensive back of the last two decades given his stats and longevity, are all but shoe-ins to be inducted on the first ballot. While players like Johnson and Butler didn’t have long careers, they might’ve been dominant enough in their primes to warrant consideration.
Players like Lynch and Thomas have been named finalists multiple times, but have constantly fallen short of election. This might be the year that trend is reversed. In addition, dominant 80s linebackers like Matthews and the late Mills are also going to potentially earn football’s highest honor.
Come the Saturday before the Super Bowl, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will announce how many new members will get their busts immortalized in Canton.