When you retire from the NFL after 18 seasons with 71,940 passing yards and 539 passing touchdowns, it’s a near certainty you’ll be a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as soon as you’re eligible.
That’s why no one was shocked Peyton Manning, who retired after the 2015 season, was announced as one of six first-time finalists Tuesday.
The former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback was among 15 finalists that will be voted on by a 48-member Selection Committee during a virtual meeting Jan. 19. A maximum of five modern-day players can be elected by getting approval from 80 percent of the committee.
The winners will be announced Super Bowl weekend.
Manning, a 14-time Pro Bowler and seven-time first-team All-Pro selection, as well as a two-time Super Bowl champion, ranks third on the NFL all-time passing yards list and passing touchdown list. He shared the 2003 NFL MVP with Steve McNair and won it outright four other times (2004, 2008, 2009, 2013).
Defensive back Charles Woodson, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, defensive lineman Jared Allen, cornerback Ronde Barber and linebacker Clay Matthews Jr., were the other first-time finalists.
Offensive lineman Tony Boselli, safety LeRoy Butler, offensive lineman Alan Faneca, wide receiver Torry Holt, safety John Lynch, linebacker Sam Mills, defensive lineman Richard Seymour, linebacker Zach Thomas and wide receiver Reggie Wayne are also among this year’s finalists.
This is Matthews’ 20th year of eligibility.
The committee will also vote on Tom Flores in the coach category, scout Bill Nunn as a contributor and receiver Drew Pearson as a senior candidate.
Inductees are scheduled to go into the Hall in a ceremony in August along with the class of 2020 and a special centennial class. The coronavirus pandemic postponed the latter two groups from having their ceremonies this year.
–Field Level Media