FILE - This is an Aug. 5, 2017, file photo showing football fans tossing footballs on the lawn outside the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Despite his decision to not attend Saturday's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, Terrell Owens will be "honored" by the hall for his NFL career. Hall President David Baker tells The Associated Press on Monday, July 30, 2018, that the Canton, Ohio, shrine's mission statement begins with the goal "to honor the heroes of the game."(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Pro Football Hall of Fame 2021 Class Announced

Canton, Ohio just got a few new prestigious visitors. Eight new additions have been welcomed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and achieved the highest honor in professional football. The 2021 inductees include Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Calvin Johnson, Drew Pearson, Alan Faneca, Bill Nunn, John Lynch and Tom Flores.

Notably, Peyton Manning’s induction marks the ninth consecutive year that a first time eligible player has been welcomed into the exclusive group.  The 14-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time league MVP retired in the spring of 2016 after a sensational career with the Colts and Broncos. Manning met the Hall of Fame’s requirement that a player must be retired for at least five years before being eligible to be considered for the honor. Former Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson and former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson were also selected in their first year of eligibility as well.

Breaking Down the Class:

In addition to the first year eligible players, the class has representatives from the modern era, a senior player plus a contributor to the game itself off the gridiron. Drew Pearson received what many considered a long over due induction in this selection process. The former Dallas Cowboy was previously the only first-team selection to the All-Decade team of the 1970s who had not been enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Alan Faneca has earned his Pro Football Hall of Fame honor 11 years from making his final block as a guard for the Cardinals in 2010. The nine time Pro Bowler had a storied career with the Steelers. He helped them to a  Super Bowl win in 2006 before joining the Jets in 2008 and finishing out his career in Arizona until his retirement in 2010.

Rounding out the class of players is John Lynch, the current general manger for the San Francisco 49ers.  Lynch knows what it takes to build a championship team. After all, Lynch himself was a nine time Pro-Bowl selection and a Super Bowl champion and one of the league’s best safeties. Lynch was a part of the 2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl win and then joined the Denver Broncos until his retirement in 2007.

Contributions on the Sideline and Beyond

Bill Nunn also joins the class for his contributions as a scout and executive with the Steelers. Specifically, Nunn’s impact on the organization in the 1970s can be best seen in the 1974 draft class. That class went on to boast four future Hall of Famers . He also managed to sign a fifth Hall of Famer as an un-drafted free agent in the same class. Throughout his tenure, Nunn signed a total of 11 future Hall of Famers.

Tom Flores is the final member of this year’s class for his time spent as a head coach. Flores touts a SuperBbowl ring for almost each finger with four wins, and one AFL championship win. Flores is only one of two people who have won a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He served as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks and his gold jacket recognizes his time as a head coach.

 

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