Every year, the NFL holds an NFL Honors ceremony to give out awards for the corresponding regular season. During the ceremony, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announces their new class for the upcoming year. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the defining achievement for the NFL’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. It is a way to pay homage to the groundbreaking figures that have done their part in altering the legacy for the better in the game of football.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame was established in 1963 with inaugural inductees including former two-time NFL champion with the Washington Redskins Sammy Baugh, former Bears player, coach and owner George Halas, three-time NFL champion with the Green Bay Packers Don Hutson and founder of the Green Bay Packers Curly Lambeau. There are currently 346 inductees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2021 class not included).
This year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that they will be inducting six former players and a former head coach. Let’s take a closer look at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
Peyton Manning, QB: Indianapolis Colts 1998-2011; Denver Broncos 2012-2015
Peyton Manning is widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. His list of accomplishments from his 18-year NFL career includes two Super Bowl championships, five AP NFL MVP awards, 14 Pro Bowl appearances, seven First-Team All-Pro appearances and two AP Offensive Player of the Year awards. Manning also holds the NFL records for passing yards in a single season (5,477) and passing touchdowns in a single season (55). Manning is the only quarterback in NFL history to record at least 40 touchdowns in a single season for two different teams. In addition, he is also third place in career passing yards (71,940) and passing touchdowns (539).
Calvin Johnson, WR: Detroit Lions 2007-2015
Calvin Johnson becomes the sixth wide receiver in NFL history to ever be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the first year of eligibility. Johnson finished his short career with 731 receptions, 11,619 receiving yards and 83 receiving touchdowns. He led the NFL in receiving yards and receiving yards per game twice. In addition, he was selected to six Pro Bowls and made three First-Team All-Pro appearances.
Charles Woodson, CB: Oakland Raiders 1998-2005, 2013-2015; Green Bay Packers 2006-2012
Ironically, both Charles Woodson and Peyton Manning were drafted in 1998, ended their careers in 2015 on their way to being inducted in the same Hall of Fame class. Woodson finished his career tied for fifth in career interceptions (65) and tied for second in interception returns for touchdowns (11). He was selected to nine Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams as well as winning an AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. Woodson won his only Super Bowl championship as a member of the 2010 Green Bay Packers.
John Lynch, SS/FS: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1993-2003; Denver Broncos 2004-2007
John Lynch is now the fifth player in the 1993 NFL Draft class to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Lynch recorded 26 interceptions and 1,059 tackles in his career. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls and two First Team All-Pro appearances. He won a Super Bowl championship as a member of the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Alan Faneca, LG: Pittsburgh Steelers 1998-2007; New York Jets 2008-2009; Arizona Cardinals 2010
Alan Faneca joins Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson as members of the 1998 NFL Draft class that will be inducted in the Hall of Fame. In his career, Faneca was selected to nine Pro Bowl and made six First Team All-Pro appearances. He won a Super Bowl as a member of the 2006 Pittsburgh Steelers. Faneca was named a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team in 2007.
Drew Pearson, WR: Dallas Cowboys 1973-1983
Coming into the NFL undrafted, Drew Pearson went on to play his entire 10-year career with the Dallas Cowboys. Pearson finished his career 489 receptions, 7,822 receiving yards and 48 receiving touchdowns. At the time of his retirement, Pearson was the Cowboys career leader in receptions and receiving yards. He was named to three Pro Bowls and was selected to three All-Pro First Teams. He made three Super Bowl appearances with the Cowboys winning Super Bowl XII.
Tom Flores, HC: Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders 1979-1987; Seattle Seahawks 1992-1994
Prior to becoming a head coach, Tom Flores played quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs from 1960-1969. Flores finished his career with an overall record 31-33-4 as a starting quarterback compiling 11,959 career passing yards and 93 passing touchdowns. He led the Raiders to an AFL Championship and won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs. In 1979, Flores was hired as the Raiders head coach after seven years of being the team’s receivers coach. In his time as head coach of the Raiders, Flores posted a record of 83-53 leading the team to two Super Bowl championships. Overall, his record as a head coach stands at 97-87 and an 8-3 record in the playoffs.