No surprise: Peyton Manning a Hall of Fame finalist

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Quarterback Peyton Manning, defensive back Charles Woodson, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive end Jared Allen lead the list of finalists.

Manning was one of the most prolific passers in National Football League history. It is the second time in the past four years that four players in their first year of eligibility have been finalists in the same year.

Four players in their first year of eligibility are among the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2021. Manning also retired as pro football's all-time leader in career touchdown passes, career passing yards and combined regular-season and postseason wins, though several of those career records have since been surpassed. He was a seven-time All-Pro, and a member of the NFLs All-Decade Team of the 2000s. First-year eligible Calvin Johnson and second-time finalist Torry Holt also made the cut among receivers.

Lynch is a finalist for the eighth time, in his ninth year of eligibility. "You really have to make an impact on the game and I am excited to be in this moment". Allen, who had 136 sacks and forced four safeties, is another first-year eligible player, while Seymour has made the finals for three of his four eligible years.

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The former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback was among 15 finalists that will be voted on by a 48-member Selection Committee during a virtual meeting January 19. He would be the fifth former Bronco to be inducted in his first year of eligibility, following Champ Bailey (Class of 2019), John Elway (2004), Tony Dorsett (1994) and Willie Brown (1984).

In recognition of his incredible toughness, Woodson was honored by his teammates with the 2010 Ed Block Courage Award, the same year he helped lead the Packers, with one of the league's best defenses, to a victory in Super Bowl XLV.

The Hall's selection committee will narrow that list to a maximum of five choices, and also vote on coach Tom Flores, contributor Bill Nunn, and seniors nominee Drew Pearson separately. The Class of 2020 is scheduled to be enshrined at a separate ceremony that week, as well, because August's event was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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