Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson headline Hall of Fame semifinalists for 2021

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Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Jared Allen and Calvin Johnson headline the list of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. Manning, Woodson, Allen and Johnson are in their first year of eligibility.

The list also includes four players – Eric Allen, Willie Anderson, Cornelius Bennett and Rodney Harrison – who are semifinalists for the first time after previously being eligible for the Hall of Fame. All other players on the 2021 list made the semifinalist list at least once previously.

Selectors will vote for the Class of 2021 during the week leading up to Super Bowl LV. Between four and eight new members will earn induction on Aug. 8, 2021, in Canton, Ohio, with 80 percent support needed for election.

Selectors will trim the list of modern-era candidates to 15 finalists in the coming weeks. They will join coach Tom Flores, contributor Bill Nunn and senior nominee Drew Pearson on the ballot.

CLASS OF 2021 MODERN-ERA PLAYER SEMIFINALISTS
The following is the list of 2021 modern-era semifinalists, including their positions, years and teams. Also listed are the number of times and years the candidate has been named a semifinalist since this reduction vote was added to the Bylaws for the Selection Committee in 2004.

Eric Allen, CB – 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
Jared Allen, DE – 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
Willie Anderson, T – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
Ronde Barber, CB/S – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2018-2021)
Cornelius Bennett, LB – 1987-1995 Buffalo Bills, 1996-98 Atlanta Falcons, 1999-2000 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
Tony Boselli, T – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve) | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2016-2021)
LeRoy Butler, S – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2018-2021)
Alan Faneca, G – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2016-2021)
Rodney Harrison, S – 1994-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-08 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2015-2021)
Calvin Johnson, WR – 2007-2015 Detroit Lions | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 9 – 2013-2021)
Peyton Manning, QB – 1998-2011 Indianapolis Colts (injured reserved 2011), 2012-15 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
Clay Matthews, LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2012, 2017, 2019-2021)
Sam Mills, LB – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2016, 2019-2021)
Richard Seymour, DE/DT – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2018-2021)
Steve Tasker, ST/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2004, 2008-2010, 2012-13, 2020-21)
Fred Taylor, RB – 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-2010 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)
Zach Thomas, LB – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2019-2021)
Hines Ward, WR – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2017-2021)
Reggie Wayne, WR – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)
Patrick Willis, LB – 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)
Charles Woodson, CB/S – 1998-2005, 2013-15 Oakland Raiders, 2006-2012 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
Darren Woodson, S – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015, 2017, 2019-2021)
Bryant Young, DT – 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)

61 responses to “Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson headline Hall of Fame semifinalists for 2021

  1. Ken Riley and Jake Scott.

    No one else should get in until guys like this do.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

  2. Will be interesting to see how differently Calvin Johnson and Patrick Willis are treated. Both had slightly shorter careers than are typical for Hall of Famers, but both were very highly regarded (multiple first team All Pro awards). Megatron played the more glamorous position so presumably that gives him an edge for induction. In my opinion, both deserve to eventually get in.

  3. That list is really tough. C-Wood is a no-brainer. Eric Allen deserves it. Richard Seymour. Rodney Harrison. Calvin Johnson.

    There you go. There are your next HOFers.

  4. Manning
    C. Woodson
    D. Woodson
    Faneca
    Lynch
    Tom Flores

    Harrison or Seymour should get in at some point, too.

  5. Leslie O Neil, Albert Lewis, Tom Nalen, Henry Ellard, Kent Hull miss out again.

    Congratulations, Harrison, Allen making this list !

  6. Outside of Manning I don’t see any of the other first-timers as locks. I think Faneca should get in this year. I’m not sure who breaks the WR logjam, but I could see Wayne piggy-backing on Manning.

  7. I think Faneca suffers from TOO MANY STEELERS SYNDROME. That’s what one of the other voters told Ed Bouchette, then of the Post-Gazette. The guy told Ed there were too many Steelers in the HOF.

    Hoping Faneca gets in because that double bill from the carryover group would be Bill Cowher, Troy Polamalu, Donnie Shell (all already in from ’20) ), very likely Bill Nunn from that new builders group or whatever they call it…………..and Faneca.

    That would be 6 ….and for that reason Faneca would have to wait again.

    Because of the proximity of Akron to Pittsburgh (less than two hour drive) the HOF says it gets more fans who identify with the Steelers than anywhere…even the hometown Browns.

  8. Hines Ward and Torry Holt are tough. You never really felt like they were truly “special” WRs, but they were really good for a long time.

    I’d like the HOF to be inclusive and include guys like that because they meant a lot to a generation of fans, but if you are being objective and strict I understand why they aren’t going in.

  9. Charles Woodson and Peyton Manning came into the league together, and both should be first ballot locks.
    Remember 2014 and 2015, when an aging Manning had lost some physical abilities (by his own admission) and was surviving on experience?
    Woodson played DEFENSIVE BACK in 2014 and 2015 and had 4 INTs one year and 5 INTs the next. Just amazing to be able to play that position that well at that age.

  10. Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, and Ronde Barber will definitely get in. I am biased towards Richard Seymour, Rodney Harrison, and Jared Allen getting in as well.

  11. Harrison and D Woodson are deserving but it could be either Lynch or Butler at safety for 2021 …

  12. •Clay Matthews, LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2012, 2017, 2019-2021)
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    wow, i know Clay’s been around for a while.. and sometimes, seems too long, esp when he’s sacking my QB.. what a wonderful athlete he must be..

  13. Hines Ward is deserving … slow but clutch as a receiver and not a second option like Wayne and Holt were … The best blocking receiver ever with two out of three SB rings …

  14. bigbrad184 says:
    November 24, 2020 at 1:19 pm
    Will be interesting to see how differently Calvin Johnson and Patrick Willis are treated. Both had slightly shorter careers than are typical for Hall of Famers, but both were very highly regarded (multiple first team All Pro awards). Megatron played the more glamorous position so presumably that gives him an edge for induction. In my opinion, both deserve to eventually get in.

    *****************************

    CJ and Willis remind me of Terrell Davis’ plight getting into the HOF, unfortunately. Davis was hands down one of the best, most productive backs in NFL history, but that knee injury cut his career short. Had he not won 2 Super Bowls and was the SB MVP, he would have never even been an after thought for the HOF. Unfortunately, CJ and Willis do not have the hardware Davis did. I doubt they’ll get in, but wish they would.

  15. Manning will go in for sure. There would be some irony if Charles Woodson’s candidacy kept out fellow Packer Leroy Butler for another year. Butler is way overdue for the honor. I think Faneca and Flores should go in. Add Megatron and that would be an excellent class.

  16. For all his physical attributes, Calvin Johnson is not a first ballot hall of famer. He just really lacked that killer instinct to dominate his opponent week in and week out over his career.

    Yes, he had some great games and individual moments, but they were mostly meaningless. Take his single season record for yards for instance, it came in a game when we were already out of the playoffs in a year expectations were high. Contrast that with Barry Sanders, who granted didn’t have much success in the playoffs, but at least carried the team to get them there. Calvin Johnson never carried anything. He has the numbers but that’s all they are, numbers. He’ll be lucky to get in at all imo.

  17. Jared Allen is such a baby that he should be excluded for that alone. He’s the guy who was always going after knees and would cry like a little girl if somebody hit him in the knees. Cheap player. Most definitely not HOF material.

  18. •Eric Allen, CB – No
    •Jared Allen, DE – No
    •Willie Anderson, T – No
    •Ronde Barber, CB/S – No
    •Cornelius Bennett, LB – Yes
    •Tony Boselli, T – No
    •LeRoy Butler, S – Yes
    •Alan Faneca, G – No
    •Rodney Harrison, S – Yes
    •Torry Holt, WR – No
    •Calvin Johnson, WR – Yes
    •John Lynch, FS – No
    •Peyton Manning, QB – Yes
    •Clay Matthews, LB – No
    •Sam Mills, LB – No
    •Richard Seymour, DE/DT – No
    •Steve Tasker, ST/WR – No
    •Fred Taylor, RB – No
    •Zach Thomas, LB – No
    •Hines Ward, WR – No
    •Reggie Wayne, WR – No
    •Patrick Willis, LB – No
    •Charles Woodson, CB/S – Yes
    •Darren Woodson, S – No
    •Bryant Young, DT – No

  19. The Pro Football HOF is getting as bad as the “Rock and Roll HOF”. Eventually, everybody will get in. All the players listed were excellent players. But good lord, outside of Peyton Manning and (maybe) Darren Woodson none of these guys were anything but fan favorites for more than an average NFL career.

  20. Manning, Woodson, are no brainers, Lynch and Seymour turn, Tasker is the dark horse over Faneca, Johnson and Boselli

  21. Manning and Woodson are locks. I think they give Faneca the nod this year (Wish Boselli but I doubt it). Would love to see Sam Mills get in, but I actually think Willis will get in before Thomas or Mills. It would not surprise me if they actually vote in Wayne before Calvin this year because Peyton is getting in this year. Would be crap, but I could see it.

  22. If Peyton Manning will stop doing dimwitted TV commercials and the Dimwitteed Peyton Places then and only then should he go into the HOF.

  23. There has NEVER been a special teams player like STEVE TASKER, he deserves to be in there!!!!

  24. Sam Mills is one of the best MLB to ever play the game. I hope he makes it in.

    He suffers from that he didn’t play for big name franchises in the era of dynasty teams.

  25. “Remember 2014 and 2015, when an aging Manning had lost some physical abilities (by his own admission) and was surviving on experience?”
    ———————————————————————————
    Experience maybe. The ‘wife’s” steroids more likely. Look great QB, loved him some stats and oddly Omaha, deserves to be a HOFer. More so than the vast majority on the list of very good football players.

  26. Some guys before my time and I’m not always familiar with lineman or DEF players – it might be helpful to see how may All Pro teams they made. When only coaches and players voted, it seemed if your peers thought highly of you like 7 times in a 10 year career, that’s a huge clue … like Hines Ward, was he an allpro most years or just a guy the media seem to like?

  27. Steve Tasker changed the way the game was played. Greatest special teamer of all time.

  28. If Willie Anderson had played for the cowboys or steelers he would already be in the hof. Bs that great talent is ignored just because they played on bad teams or in small markets

  29. I agree Hines Ward was tough,but he also perfected the blindside cheap shot that the NFL had to regulate out of the game for player safety. Steeler fans loved the cheap shot as long as it wasn’t their player receiving it.

  30. daltonsdumptruck says:
    November 24, 2020 at 8:44 pm
    Steve Tasker changed the way the game was played. Greatest special teamer of all time

    ————

    Unfortunately, historically, that criterion won’t cut it. Pete Gogolak changed the way kickers kick forever, and he’s not in the hall

  31. Hines Ward was a clutch, tough football player who happened to dish out legal hits on Ravens & Bengals for a long time. Get over it, whining AFC North fans.

  32. Come on guys…

    Alan Faneca.

    9 time Pro Bowl
    6 time First Team All Pro
    2 time Second Team All Pro
    On the 2000’s all decade team
    On the All Time Steelers team

    A 13 year career in the trenches.

    And I’m a Bears fan.

  33. Clay Matthews Jr. Should be in! Played 19 years in the NFL, at every linebacker position. Almost 70 sacks and 1600 tackles, pretty sure this man has done enough.

  34. Bryant Young…was like Aaron Donald back in the day. Always doubled, often tripled….still made a lot of plays….most in niner history….90’s all decade team. also earned Stubblefield a DPOY. Greatest team plyer in Niners history. Hall of Famer for sure.

  35. Here’s the thing about Steve Tasker: We’re always told how all three phases of the game are important. Then we get a guy who’s widely regarded as one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, special teams player of all time. And yet he’s still not in?

    It’s like how it took so long to get a punter in the Hall. If punting matters, and if someone was great enough at it, then they should be in. And FINALLY, Ray Guy got in.

    Why is special teams generally any different from punting specifically? Why the hell was Steve Tasker not already in on the first ballot?! JFC…

  36. When Steve Tasker played, the rules for special teams plays were considered dangerous. The NFL changed the rules to protect players. I believe they think it would be counter productive to honor a player and bring back awareness to those dangerous conditions. I hope I’m wrong because Tasker belongs in the HOF.

  37. Hines Ward….the HOF leader in crack back blocks. No thanks.

    I’d much rather see his teammate Faneca get in, he was a road grader in his prime.

  38. Even though his career was mostly in Pittsburgh, give the Jets one W this year and put Alan Faneca in

  39. The HOF should be reserved for the greatest players who ever played the game. Then, it would be fun to argue about who should be voted in. But it’s gotten so far removed from that, it’s just not that much fun anymore. Especially when they start including coaches and GM’s. Tell me why John McVay, who had five super rings as GM of the 49ers never even gets mentioned. It’s beyond ridiculous the number of men who have been voted in that can’t compare with McVay.

  40. Eric Allen, CB – No
    •Jared Allen, DE – Yes
    •Willie Anderson, T – No
    •Ronde Barber, CB/S – No
    •Cornelius Bennett, LB – Maybe
    •Tony Boselli, T – Yes
    •LeRoy Butler, S – Yes
    •Alan Faneca, G – Yes
    •Rodney Harrison, S – Yes
    •Torry Holt, WR – Yes
    •Calvin Johnson, WR – Yes
    •John Lynch, FS – Maybe
    •Peyton Manning, QB – Yes
    •Clay Matthews, LB – Maybe
    •Sam Mills, LB – No
    •Richard Seymour, DE/DT – Yes
    •Steve Tasker, ST/WR – Probably should be
    •Fred Taylor, RB – No
    •Zach Thomas, LB – Maybe
    •Hines Ward, WR – Maybe
    •Reggie Wayne, WR – Maybe
    •Patrick Willis, LB – Probably
    •Charles Woodson, CB/S – Yes
    •Darren Woodson, S – Yes
    •Bryant Young, DT – No

    I feel like some should be in, some are 50-50 and some are a no for me. Great players all and some are overdue.

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