Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Charles Woodson headline 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists

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·Senior NFL writer
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Peyton Manning is only one step away from having his place in history solidified in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, is one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Hall, the league announced Tuesday.

Manning, former Raiders and Packers defensive back Charles Woodson, former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, and former Chiefs and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen are the only finalists in their first year of eligibility to make the cut from the list of the initial 25 candidates.

Those four are joined by two other first-time finalists in former Browns linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. — who is in his final year of eligibility — and former Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber, who is in his fourth year of eligibility.

Former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is on the doorstep of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)
Former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is on the doorstep of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)

The full list of finalists includes:

Who missed the cut in making Hall of Fame?

The 10 modern-era semifinalists who did not make the cut include:

  • Eric Allen, CB – 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders

  • Willie Anderson, T – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens

  • Cornelius Bennett, LB – 1987-1995 Buffalo Bills, 1996-98 Atlanta Falcons, 1999-2000 Indianapolis Colts

  • Rodney Harrison, S – 1994-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-08 New England Patriots

  • Steve Tasker, ST/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills

  • Fred Taylor, RB – 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-2010 New England Patriots

  • Hines Ward, WR – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Patrick Willis, LB – 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers

  • Darren Woodson, S – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys

  • Bryant Young, DT – 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers

All 15 finalists will have their cases heard by the 48-person selection committee, which will convene virtually on Jan. 19 to wither the list to 10 and then to five.

From there, those five — along with two contributors (former Raiders coach Tom Flores and former Steelers scout Bill Nunn) and a senior nominee (former Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson) — will be voted on individually, with a minimum of 80 percent of the vote needed for enshrinement.

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