Peyton Manning is one step closer to reaching the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On Wednesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 130 modern-era nominees for the HOF Class of 2021, and Manning was one of the 12 first-year eligible players named. The other players on the nominee list for the first time are Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker, Roddy White, Heath Miller, Steven Jackson D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Logan Mankins, Charles Tilman, Charles Woodson, Jared Allen, Justin Tuck and Kevin Williams.
There's no doubt Manning will get in the Hall of Fame next year as he's one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in NFL history. Along with winning two Super Bowls, Manning played in the big game two more times and was named to the Pro Bowl 14 times. He's also a seven-time First-Team All-Pro selection and a five-time winner of the MVP award. Manning won Comeback Player of the Year in 2012 after a strong first season with the Denver Broncos. His No. 18 jersey for the Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts is retired, and he's a member of the 2000s All-Decade Team as well as the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
"I've learned a lot through my mistakes, stumbles and losses in football," Manning said during his retirement speech back in March 2016. "I've also learned this game is a mighty platform that has given me a voice that can echo well beyond the game. Football has taught me not to be led by obstructions and setbacks but instead to be led by dreams. Due to some good genes, I'm smart enough to know that those lessons can enrich who I am and where I go from here."
It wouldn't be surprising if the Pro Football Hall of Fame already has a bust of Manning. However, his brother, Eli Manning, is a different story. Peyton explained why Eli should be in the Hall of Fame.
"To me, it's the time to look back and reflect," Peyton said earlier this year shortly after Eli retired. "Everybody else wants to look ahead and have this debate — and I understand it's just the world we live in, but I know Eli doesn't think like that, and I don't think like that either. I certainly have my strong feelings and opinions on it, that when you're the Super Bowl MVP twice against the greatest dynasty of all time — the New England Patriots [with] Tom Brady and Bill Belichick — and you join a list that includes Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Eli Manning as the only [two-time] Super Bowl MVPs, that kind of — I don't really know what that term 'Drop the mic' is, but I guess if there was one, if I had a mic … there really is no 'Yeah, but' after that."