INDIANAPOLIS – Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne are a step closer to being reunited in Canton, Ohio.
The two long-time icons with the Indianapolis Colts are among the 15 Modern-Era Finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. Manning is in his first year of eligibility while this is Wayne’s second year. He also was a finalist last year.
The inclusion of Manning and Wayne for consideration isn’t a surprise.
Manning is the NFL’s only five-time Most Valuable Player and a two-time Super Bowl champion. He was a seven-time All-Pro, 14-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
The Colts selected Manning with the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, and he far exceeded what already were lofty expectations. The team reached the playoffs in 11 of his 13 seasons – Manning missed the 2011 season with his neck issues – and advanced to the Super Bowl twice, capturing the world championship in Super Bowl XLI with a 29-17 win over the Chicago Bears.
Manning’s 17-year career, which spanned Indy and Denver, saw him pile up 539 touchdowns and 71,940 yards, both 3rd-most in NFL history. His final four seasons with the Broncos included two trips to the Super Bowl and another world title, and a 2013 season that saw him set single-season records with 5,477 yards and 55 TDs.
Wayne’s worthiness, meanwhile, is based on regular season and postseason success. He ranks 10th in NFL history in receptions (1,070) and yards (14,435). In the postseason, the Colts’ 2001 first-round pick ranks 3rd with 93 receptions and 5th with 1,254 yards.
Manning and Wayne formed a prolific tandem during their 10 years in Indy. They had 779 receptions, 10,062 yards and 67 TDs. The catches and yards are tied for 2nd-most in NFL history by a quarterback-receiver tandem, trailing only Manning and Marvin Harrison.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee – I am one of 48 members – will convene later this month to determine the Class of 2021. A maximum of five Modern-Era individuals will be selected along with Tom Flores (nominee from Coach’s Committee), Drew Pearson (Seniors) and Bill Nunn (Contributors).
The Class of 2021 will be revealed during the week leading up to Super Bowl LV in Tampa. Enshrinement ceremonies are scheduled for Aug. 8 in Canton. On Aug. 7, enshrinement for the Class of 2002 – that includes Colts’ standout Edgerrin James – will be held.
The 15 Modern-Era Finalists:
- QB Peyton Manning.
- WR Reggie Wayne.
- DE Jared Allen.
- CB/S Ronde Barber.
- OT Tony Boselli.
- S LeRoy Butler.
- G Alan Faneca.
- WR Torry Holt.
- WR Calvin Johnson.
- S John Lynch.
- LB Clay Matthews Jr.
- LB Sam Mills.
- DE Richard Seymour.
- LB Zach Thomas.
- CB/S Charles Woodson.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.