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Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, & Charles Woodson Headline 2021 NFL Hall of Fame

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  • Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, & Charles Woodson Headline 2021 NFL Hall of Fame

    For the ninth consecutive year, a first-time-eligible player is among the newest enshrinees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Three, including former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, are among the Hall's Class of 2021. Manning, a 14-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time league MVP, former Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson and former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson were all selected in their first year of eligibility.

    Peyton Manning - At the time of his retirement, Manning held NFL records for passing touchdowns (539), passing yards (71,940) and quarterback starts won by his team (186, tied with Brett Favre). His single-season records of 5,477 yards passing and 55 touchdowns, set in 2013 with the Broncos, still stand.

    Calvin Johnson - At 6-foot-5, 237 pounds with 4.3 speed, Johnson changed the way some looked at the position. A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Johnson led the league in receiving yards twice, and in 2012 he came within 36 yards of becoming the first receiver in NFL history to finish with 2,000 yards in a season

    Charles Woodson - A multifaceted playmaker who was the first player in NFL history to have at least 50 interceptions and 20 sacks, his 65 career interceptions are tied for fifth all time. He led the league in interceptions with nine in 2009 at age 33 and tied for the league lead in 2011 with seven at age 35.

    Alan Faneca - A nine-time Pro Bowl selection as well as a six-time first-team All-Pro, he is one of 12 guards in league history to be a first-team All-Pro six or more times -- the other 11 are already enshrined in Canton. His teams were among the league's top five in rushing six times in his 13 seasons and led the league twice.

    John Lynch - He was a physical presence in the Buccaneers' Tampa-2 defense; former Bucs coach Tony Dungy has said a player of Lynch's intelligence and versatility was both the most needed and difficult to find to run the scheme. He had eight 80-tackle seasons, including 84 tackles in 2006 at age 35 and three with over 100 tackles. He was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his four seasons with the Broncos.

    Tom Flores - Flores' last three seasons as a head coach -- when he returned to coaching in Seattle after being team president there under the restrictions of the dysfunctional ownership of Ken Behring -- were a decidedly bumpy ride. But his time with the Raiders included two Super Bowl wins and an 8-3 postseason record for a .727 winning percentage that ranks behind only Vince Lombardi.

    Bill Nunn - The Steelers' draft in 1974 alone, and Nunn's role in it, was probably more than enough to get him in the Hall of Fame. In that draft, the Steelers selected four future Hall of Famers -- Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Jack Lambert and Mike Webster. They then signed a fifth future Hall of Famer -- safety Donnie Shell -- as an undrafted rookie. In all, the Steelers drafted 11 future Hall of Famers in Nunn's tenure, and Shell was a 12th. Mel Blount, Stallworth and Shell were all future Hall of Famers who played at HBCUs. Nunn could consistently see players' potential.

    Drew Pearson - Pearson, a former college quarterback who made the Cowboys' roster as an undrafted rookie wide receiver, had 489 career catches, which wouldn't raise an eyebrow in today's game. But he was one of the elite receivers of his era, and his total is more than those of Hall of Famers Paul Warfield, Lynn Swann and Bob Hayes. His career was shortened by a liver injury he suffered in a car accident at age 33, an accident that killed his brother Carey. He retired shortly thereafter.