Quarterback Peyton Manning added the past, and possibly only, missing entry to his NFL résumé Saturday night when he had been appointed as one of eight brand new enshrinees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Joining Manning from the modern-era finalists at the Hall’s Class of 2021 will be former Raiders and Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson, former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, present San Francisco 49ers general manager and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos defensive back John Lynch, along with former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Alan Faneca.
Manning, Woodson and Johnson were all in their first year of qualification.
One of the modern-era finalists, Lynch, who had been a finalist eight occasions, has waited the longest for enshrinement.
Also included in the Course of 2021 is former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson, who had been chosen as a senior inductee, also former Steelers scout/personnel executive Bill Nunn, who will be posthumously enshrined in the contributor category. Former Raiders and Seattle Seahawks coach Tom Flores, the sole offender in the new coach group this season, is also bound for Canton.
This marks the third time in the previous four decades that three first-time eligible players have been selected for enshrinement in precisely the exact same year.
The Class of 2021 was picked Jan. 19 from the Hall’s board of selectors throughout a virtual meeting. The eight brand new Hall of Famers will be enshrined during a multiday event Aug. 5-9 at Canton. The extended enshrinement weekend also will include ceremonies for the Hall’s Class of 2020, as well as the centennial class of Hall of Famers chosen as part of this league’s 100th anniversary. Both ceremonies were canceled last year because of COVID-19 restrictions.
After 14 seasons with all the Indianapolis Colts, Manning signed with the Broncos in 2012 — which makes him among the most accomplished players to change teams at the free-agency era. The Colts had 11 seasons with 10 wins while Manning was their quarterback and won Super Bowl XLI, together with Manning earning MVP honors.
“It’s almost an impossible job to put into words exactly what Peyton Manning has intended to the Colts, the NFL, the city of Indianapolis, the state of Indiana, and enthusiasts throughout the world,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said in a statement. “His planning, performance, and success on the field were both legendary and speak for itself. Novels have been and will continue to be written about the impact he and his family have made in all aspects of life and sports.
“As among the best to play, Peyton is rightfully credited for beating and mastering the quarterback position, the most crucial place in all of sport. There have been many greats to play the sport, but few had the complete command of the area as Peyton did. In other words, he changed the way quarterbacks play with the match, and every quarterback since has learned from observing him.”
The Broncos won Super Bowl 50 to close out the 2015 season — the last match of Manning’s career — and finish a four-year streak in Denver that saw the team win 50 games and four consecutive AFC West titles. Manning retired using numerous single-season and career documents, including his 5,477 yards passing and 55 touchdowns in 2013.
“I called John Elway, known as Dan Marino, known as Troy Aikman, called Brett Favre, to let them know and [tell them] how thankful I am to be on precisely the same team as them,” Manning said shortly after he got word regarding his honour in a meeting with the Broncos’ site. “And the effect they had on me personally, either studying them or them talking to me after a game, or whatever it can be.”
Woodson was a nine-time Pro Bowl choice and completed his 18-year livelihood tied for fifth in interceptions, with Ken Riley, together with 65. He led the league in interceptions with nine to the Packers in 2009 and earned a Super Bowl ring with Green Bay the following season.
The cornerback-turned-safety also forced 33 fumbles, recorded 20 sacks and had three 90-tackle seasons, such as 113 tackles with the Raiders at age 38.
Johnson played nine seasons for the Lions before suddenly retiring following the 2015 season, when he’d 88 catches for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. He murdered in part because of injuries that plagued him throughout his career — fingers bent in different directions along with a ankle injury so bad and lingered for so long it forced him from the”Dancing with the Stars” contest in 2016.
Because of the Lions’ struggles — something he later said contributed to his retirement — Johnson played in only two postseasons. He ended with 211 getting yards and two touchdowns in his first postseason appearance, a 45-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC wild-card around that followed the 2011 season.
Johnson recorded five 1,200-yard getting seasons and ranks 31st in career receiving yards. He completed his career because Detroit’s pioneer in goals (1,312), receptions (731), yards (11,619) and receiving touchdowns (83). His 84 total touchdowns are second in Lions history behind Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders (109).
“The culmination of all of the work, all the grind, all the ups and downs that you’ve been through, simply to be able to excel in the level and be able to have the opportunity to be among such greats, I am sleeping with a smile tonight,” Johnson stated on the NFL Honors broadcast when informed of his election.
Johnson, 35, are the next player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at age 35 or younger, along with Gale Sayers and Jim Brown.
Lynch, a versatile, clever and penalizing player over the course of his career, was a nine-time Pro Bowl choice, including his last four years in the league, he spent in Denver and helped the Broncos develop a game from the Super Bowl in 2005. He had eight 80-tackle seasons, including 84 tackles in 2006 at age 35, to go with three seasons with over 100 tackles. Over his 11 seasons, he performed on only two losing teams and was a catalyst supporting Tampa’s Super Bowl title in 2002.
“I wish to thank all my teammates of all of the fantastic teams I have had the pleasure and the honor to play for,” Lynch said in a video message. “That is going back to Torrey Pines High School, it’s Stanford University, it is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in which I had been drafted in 1993 from Stanford in the next round. Played 11 decades here — we moved from’The Yucks’ to world champs. Denver Broncos, in year 11, allowed me, so thank you to the Denver Broncos, everybody out there.
“I am humbled, I am honored — so many people to thank and we will have tons of time. To all of the fans: Thanks for always having my back and anticipating greatness for me and my teammates.”
Faneca was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and is among 12 guards at NFL history to be named first-team All Pro six or more occasions — he was first-team All Pro six occasions, a streak that was broken when the Steelers needed him to move to left tackle for much of the 2003 season because of injuries to other players. In 10 seasons with Pittsburgh, two with all the New York Jets and one more in Arizona, Faneca missed a total of one game. His best days came with Pittsburgh, which had a top-10 racing attack in all of his seasons there and won the Super Bowl in 2006.
Pearson was the only first-team selection to the All-Decade group of the 1970s who hadn’t previously been enshrined at the Hall of Fame. A former college quarterback who left the Cowboys’ roster as an undrafted rookie wide receiver, Pearson was one of the elite of his era. His career was shortened by a liver injury he suffered in an auto accident at age 33.
Nunn was a sampling leader, who started guiding NFL teams on players from the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities he had assessed as a sports writer. Nunn afterwards spent more than four decades with the Steelers, and has been a key figure in the team’s dynastic run from the 1970s and return to the Super Bowl from the decades that followed. He expired in 2014.
Flores and Hall of Famer Mike Ditka are the only people in NFL history that were Super Bowl winners as players, assistant coaches and head coaches.