The Pro Football Hall of Fame started with 130 candidates for the Class of 2021 and that list has officially been trimmed down to 25 semifinalists.
The Hall of Fame announced the group of 25 on Tuesday and it's loaded with players who are eligible for the first time, including Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Jared Allen and former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson.
Although it's not easy for first-time nominees to get in, Manning is the one player on this year's list who is an absolute lock to make it.
The list also includes four other first-time semifinalists, who had all been previously nominated, but had not survived the initial cutdown. Those four players are Eric Allen, Willie Anderson, Cornelius Bennett and Rodney Harrison.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Steve Tasker and John Lynch will be hoping to get in after years of coming close. Lynch has been a semifinalist nine times without getting inducted, while Tasker has been named a semifinalist eight times.
The announcement of the HOF semifinalists is the second step in the process to select the next inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At some point in January, the Hall of Fame selection committee will be asked to trim the semifinalists list down to 15 finalists. Once the list of finalists is set, five of those players will eventually be voted in to the class of 2021. To be inducted, a finalist needs to receive at least 80 percent support from the 48-person selection committee.
The list of finalists that comes out in January will actually include 18 people. Besides the 15 modern-era finalists, the committee will also vote on whether or not to induct Drew Pearson (senior finalist), Bill Nunn (contributor finalist) and Tom Flores (coaching finalist). The HOF requires that between four and eight members get inducted every year.
The 2021 enshrinement weekend is going to be a busy one and that's because there are going to be TWO enshrinement ceremonies. The ceremony for the class of 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic and it will now be held in August 2021.
The 2021 ceremony will take place August 5-9, 2021. The enshrinement for the Centennial Class of 2020 is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021 while the enshrinement for the Class of 2021 is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021.
For a look at the players who have already been voted into the class of 2020, be sure to click here. As for the class of 2021, you can check out the full list of semifinalists below.
The 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will be announced during a CBS television special that will air Feb. 6 from Tampa Bay, one day before Super Bowl LV.
Here's the complete list of semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021
- Eric Allen, CB: 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
- Jared Allen, DE: 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
- Willie Anderson, T – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
- Ronde Barber, CB/S: 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2018-2021)
- Cornelius Bennett, LB: 1987-1995 Buffalo Bills, 1996-98 Atlanta Falcons, 1999-2000 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
- Tony Boselli, T: 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve) | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2016-2021)
- LeRoy Butler, S: 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2018-2021)
- Alan Faneca, G: 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2016-2021)
- Rodney Harrison, S: 1994-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-08 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
- Torry Holt, WR: 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2015-2021)
- Calvin Johnson, WR: 2007-2015 Detroit Lions | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
- John Lynch, FS: 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 9 – 2013-2021)
- Peyton Manning, QB: 1998-2011 Indianapolis Colts (injured reserved 2011), 2012-15 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
- Clay Matthews, LB: 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2012, 2017, 2019-2021)
- Sam Mills, LB: 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2016, 2019-2021)
- Richard Seymour, DE/DT: 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2018-2021)
- Steve Tasker, ST/WR: 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2004, 2008-2010, 2012-13, 2020-21)
- Fred Taylor, RB: 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-2010 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)
- Zach Thomas, LB: 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2019-2021)
- Hines Ward, WR: 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2017-2021)
- Reggie Wayne, WR: 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)
- Patrick Willis, LB: 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)
- Charles Woodson, CB/S: 1998-2005, 2013-15 Oakland Raiders, 2006-2012 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2021)
- Darren Woodson, S: 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2015, 2017, 2019-2021)
- Bryant Young, DT: 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020-21)