Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Charles Woodson headline 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists

Terez Paylor
·Senior NFL writer
·3-min read

Peyton Manning is only one step away from having his place in history solidified in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, is one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Hall, the league announced Tuesday.

Manning, former Raiders and Packers defensive back Charles Woodson, former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, and former Chiefs and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen are the only finalists in their first year of eligibility to make the cut from the list of the initial 25 candidates.

Those four are joined by two other first-time finalists in former Browns linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. — who is in his final year of eligibility — and former Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber, who is in his fourth year of eligibility.

Former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is on the doorstep of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)
Former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is on the doorstep of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)

The full list of finalists includes:

  • Jared Allen, DE – 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers

  • Ronde Barber, CB/S – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Tony Boselli, OT – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans

  • LeRoy Butler, S – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers

  • Alan Faneca, G – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals

  • Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Calvin Johnson, WR – 2007-2015 Detroit Lions

  • John Lynch, S – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos

  • Peyton Manning, QB – 1998-2011 Indianapolis Colts, 2012-15 Denver Broncos

  • Clay Matthews Jr., LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons

  • Sam Mills, LB – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers

  • Richard Seymour, DE/DT – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders

  • Zach Thomas, LB – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys

  • Reggie Wayne, WR – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts

  • Charles Woodson, CB/S – 1998-2005, 2013-15 Oakland Raiders, 2006-2012 Green Bay Packers

Who missed the cut in making Hall of Fame?

The 10 modern-era semifinalists who did not make the cut include:

  • Eric Allen, CB – 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders

  • Willie Anderson, T – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens

  • Cornelius Bennett, LB – 1987-1995 Buffalo Bills, 1996-98 Atlanta Falcons, 1999-2000 Indianapolis Colts

  • Rodney Harrison, S – 1994-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-08 New England Patriots

  • Steve Tasker, ST/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills

  • Fred Taylor, RB – 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-2010 New England Patriots

  • Hines Ward, WR – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Patrick Willis, LB – 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers

  • Darren Woodson, S – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys

  • Bryant Young, DT – 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers

All 15 finalists will have their cases heard by the 48-person selection committee, which will convene virtually on Jan. 19 to wither the list to 10 and then to five.

From there, those five — along with two contributors (former Raiders coach Tom Flores and former Steelers scout Bill Nunn) and a senior nominee (former Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson) — will be voted on individually, with a minimum of 80 percent of the vote needed for enshrinement.

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