Quarterback Peyton Manning headlines the list of 14 first-year eligible players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021, released Wednesday.
The NFL’s only five-time Most Valuable Player, Manning is joined on the list of Modern Era nominees by: running back Steven Jackson; wide receivers Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker and Roddy White; tight end Heath Miller; offensive linemen D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Logan Mankins; defensive linemen Jared Allen, Justin Tuck and Kevin Williams; linebacker Jerod Mayo; and defensive backs Charles Tillman and Charles Woodson.
In all, there are 130 players on the list, including holdovers from previous years. Among them are 65 offensive players, 49 defensive players and 16 from special teams.
The holdover nominees include 10 players who were finalists for the 2020 class: receivers Torry Holt and Reggie Wayne; offensive linemen Tony Boselli and Alan Faneca; defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Bryant Young; linebackers Sam Mills and Zach Thomas; and safeties LeRoy Butler and John Lynch.
Fifteen of the Modern Era nominees will be selected as finalists by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, joining a trio of already named finalists: Drew Pearson (senior finalist); Bill Nunn (contributor finalist); and Tom Flores (coach finalist).
The Class of 2021 will be selected on Feb. 6, 2021 in Tampa, Fla. — the day before the city hosts Super Bowl LV. Those selected are scheduled to be enshrined in Canton Ohio, on Aug. 8, 2021.
Their enshrinement will follow by one day that of the Centennial Class of 2020. Ceremonies for that group of 20 — expanded to recognize the NFL’s 100th season — were scheduled for last month but postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. That class includes safeties Steve Atwater and Troy Polamalu, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, guard Steve Hutchinson, running back Edgerrin James and two head coaches — Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson — along with three elected as contributors (Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue and George Young).
Players and coaches must have last played or coached at least five full seasons to be eligible for nomination. Anyone who last played or coached in 2015 is eligible for the first time in 2021.
–Field Level Media