DENVER (KDVR) — Officials announced the addition of former Broncos Peyton Manning and John Lynch to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021 on Saturday night.
This was Manning’s first year of eligibility and was expected to receive the honor.
The two were named as finalists on Jan. 5.
Joining Manning in making it on their first ballot are defensive back Charles Woodson and the receiver known as Megatron — Calvin Johnson.
Steelers guard Alan Faneca and Lynch round out the modern-era Class of 2021. Also going in are Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson, Raiders coach Tom Flores and Steelers scout Bill Nunn.
Manning is the headliner, as much for his nearly 72,000 passing yards as for how he changed the game. If his longtime rival Tom Brady leads the Buccaneers to victory in Sunday’s Super Bowl, Brady will join Manning as only the second QB to take two franchises to a title.
“This is a special day for the Denver Broncos and our fans as we celebrate the selection of two former players—Peyton Manning and John Lynch—to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We’re grateful that Peyton and John chose to spend the final four years of their careers right here in Denver, where they both made a profound impact on the Broncos and our community.
“The combination of Peyton’s deep love of the game, intense work-ethic and relentless preparation will never be matched. From his teammates to the coaches to the staff, Peyton raised the standard with the Broncos. His leadership made everyone better and we have great respect for him throughout our entire organization. All that Peyton was able to accomplish with the Broncos—the countless wins, his MVP award and our Super Bowl 50 run—would not have been possible without his remarkable perseverance and mental toughness in overcoming injury. His first-ballot selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the ultimate honor for such an incredible player and person who’s meant so much to this game.
“Being a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the last eight years, John has waited a long time for this moment. He was so much more than a four-time Pro Bowler with the Broncos, bringing tremendous leadership and presence to our team while solidifying his place among the greatest safeties in NFL history. Even after his decorated career with the Bucs, John still had such a desire to be the best. What we accomplished in 2005—going 13-3 and hosting the AFC Championship Game—would not have been possible without one of the best seasons of John’s career. We congratulate him on his long-awaited election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis
Lynch and Manning are the ninth and 10th former Broncos, respectively, elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame who spent significant portions of their careers with the franchise. They join:
- John Elway (Class of 2004)
- Gary Zimmerman(Class of 2008)
- Floyd Little (Class of 2010)
- Shannon Sharpe(Class of 2011)
- Terrell Davis (Class of 2017)
- Pat Bowlen (Class of 2019)
- Champ Bailey (Class of 2019)
- Steve Atwater (Class of 2020)
Other former Broncos players inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame include cornerback Willie Brown (Class of 1984), running back Tony Dorsett (Class of 1994), safety Brian Dawkins (Class of 2018) and cornerback Ty Law (Class of 2019).
The Associated Press contributed to this story.