The Pro Football Hall of Fame did a good job of keeping its newest class of inductees secret until Saturday night’s announcements on the NFL Honors show. Yet, it was known the day Peyton Manning retired that, unless he came out of retirement, he would headline the Class of 2021.
Manning’s presentation by Mike Chappell of FOX 59 lasted 13 seconds and no debate followed during the Hall of Fame’s virtual selection meeting almost three weeks ago.
Earlier this week, PFT reported Hall of Fame president David Baker informed Manning of his first-ballot election during a recent party in Manning’s honor.
But it wasn’t until Saturday, when the Hall of Fame made the announcement, that Manning officially became a Hall of Famer.
Manning, 44, will headline the enshrinement ceremony for the Class of 2021 on Aug. 8 in Canton. The Hall of Fame will induct the Class of 2020 on Aug. 7.
It was a day the Colts hoped for and dreamed of the day in 1988 when they drafted Manning with the first overall choice. Manning played 18 NFL seasons, went to four Super Bowls and won two Super Bowl rings.
He walked off into the sunset after his 2015 Broncos won Super Bowl 50. Manning spent his final four seasons in Denver after 14 with the Colts.
He won five MVP awards, a Super Bowl MVP award, two Offensive Player of the Year awards, one Comeback Player of the Year award and a Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Manning held multiple NFL records at the time of his retirement, including career passing yards (71,940), career passing touchdowns (539) and consecutive seasons with at least 25 passing touchdowns (13).
He made the NFL’s 100th Anniversary Team in 2019 as one of 10 greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.