The Pro Football Hall of Fame hasn't even inducted its 2020 class yet, but despite that, it's already making plans for the class of 2021, which could end up being one of the most stacked classes in the history of the Hall.
The list of nominees for the class of 2021 was officially released on Wednesday and the biggest name on the list is definitely Peyton Manning. The two-time Super Bowl winner and five-time MVP is eligible for the first time this year. Manning is joined by a group of first-time nominees that also includes Charles Woodson, Calvin Johnson, Charles Tillman, Jared Allen, Justin Tuck and Roddy White.
Overall, there were 130 nominees.
The announcement of the HOF nominees is the first step in the process to select the next inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At some point in November, the Hall of Fame selection committee will be asked to trim the list down to 25 semifinalists. After that, the list will be cut down to just 15 finalists in January. 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 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's 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 name of every nominee below.
QUARTERBACKS (8): Drew Bledsoe, Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Jeff Garcia, Dave Krieg, Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair
RUNNING BACKS (17): Shaun Alexander, Mike Alstott (FB), Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Larry Centers, Corey Dillon, Warrick Dunn, Eddie George, Priest Holmes, Steven Jackson, Jamal Lewis, Eric Metcalf (also WR/KR/PR), Glyn Milburn (also WR/KR/PR), Lorenzo Neal (FB), Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker (also KR), Ricky Watters
WIDE RECEIVERS (13): Donald Driver, Henry Ellard (also PR), *Torry Holt, Calvin Johnson, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Hines Ward, *Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Roddy White
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (20): Willie Anderson (T), Matt Birk (C), *Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Ruben Brown (G), *Alan Faneca (G), D'Brickashaw Ferguson (T), Kevin Glover (C/G), Jordan Gross (T), Kent Hull (C), Olin Kreutz (C), Logan Mankins (G), Tom Nalen (C), Chris Samuels (T), Jeff Saturday (C), Chris Snee (G), Brian Waters (G), Richmond Webb (T), Erik Williams (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (15): John Abraham (DE also LB), Jared Allen (DE), Ray Childress (DT/DE), La'Roi Glover (DT/NT), Casey Hampton (DT/NT), Leslie O'Neal (DE), Michael Dean Perry (DT/DE), Simeon Rice (DE), *Richard Seymour (DT), Justin Smith (DE), Neil Smith (DE), Greg Townsend (DE/LB/DT/NT), Justin Tuck (DE), Kevin Williams (DT), *Bryant Young (DT)
LINEBACKERS (16): Cornelius Bennett, Lance Briggs, Tedy Bruschi, London Fletcher, Seth Joyner, Clay Matthews Jr., Jerod Mayo, Willie McGinest (also DE), *Sam Mills, Joey Porter, Chris Spielman, Takeo Spikes, Pat Swilling (also DE), Darryl Talley, *Zach Thomas, Patrick Willis
DEFENSIVE BACKS (18): Eric Allen (CB), Ronde Barber (CB/S), *LeRoy Butler (S), Nick Collins (S), Merton Hanks (S), Rodney Harrison (S), James Hasty (DB), Albert Lewis (CB), *John Lynch (S), Tim McDonald (S), Allen Rossum (DB), Asante Samuel (DB), Bob Sanders (S), Charles Tillman (CB), Troy Vincent (CB), Adrian Wilson (S), Charles Woodson (CB/S), Darren Woodson (S)
PUNTERS/KICKERS (12): David Akers (K), Gary Anderson (K), Jason Elam (K), Jeff Feagles (P), Jason Hanson (K), John Kasay (K), Sean Landeta (P), Ryan Longwell (K), Nick Lowery (K), Reggie Roby (P), Rohn Stark (P), Matt Turk (P)
SPECIAL TEAMS (4): Josh Cribbs (KR/PR also WR), Mel Gray (PR/KR also WR), Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB), Steve Tasker (ST also WR)