Fifteen players are now one step closer to Canton, Ohio and a gold jacket. On Tuesday, the modern day finals for the Pro Football Hall of Fame were announced, with the Hall of Fame reducing the list of 25 semi-finalists to be re-announced in November. These four players make it to the finals in the first year of qualification: quarterback Beyton Manning, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, defender Charles Woodson and defensive end Jared Allen.
These 15 finalists will be presented to the 48-member Pro Football Arena Fame Selection Committee on Saturday until Super Bowl LV. There, they will reach a decision on who will cross the final barrier to enter. The laws provide that four to eight members may be elected, although there are no fixed numbers for a particular class.
Here is the full list of 15 finalists for the 2021 Pro Football Arena Fame Class:
- Jared Allen, Defensive Result – 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-13 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers
- Round Barbers, Cornerback / Security – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Tony Bocelli, Coping – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve)
- Leroy Butler, Security – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers
- Alan Fanega, Police – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
- Tory Holt, Wide Receiver – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Calvin Johnson, Wide Receiver – 2007-15 Detroit Lions
- John Lynch, Security – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
- Beyton Manning, Quarterback – 1998-2011 Indianapolis Golds, 2012-15 Denver Francois
- Clay Matthews Jr.., Linebacker – 1978-93 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons
- Sam Mills, Linebacker – 1986-94 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers
- Richard Seymour, Defensive Result / Defensive Prevention – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-12 Auckland Riders
- Zach Thomas, Linebacker – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys
- Reggie Wayne, Wide receiver – 2001-14 Indianapolis Golds
- Charles Woodson, Cornerback / Defense – 1998-2005, 2013-15 Auckland Riders; 2006-12 Green Bay Packers
Tom Flores, Bill Nunn and Drew Pearson are the finalists in the Coach, Contributor and Senior categories respectively.
“I’m enjoying this moment,” Charles Woodson was named as a finalist for the NFL Network. “I’m looking at those highlights, and what you’m doing right away is starting to play those few moments back on the football field. For me, being here at this moment, being a hall, is not for me. You guys really had to make an impact in the game for the guys on stage. I’m proud of it, I’m excited to be in this moment, I’m going to enjoy it. “
The official announcement of who will enter the 2021 class will be made on Saturday, February 6 at the NFL Honors, while it will take place on Sunday, August 8, 2021 in Canton.