Peyton Manning & John Lynch Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Former Denver Broncos Peyton Manning (18) and John Lynch (47) are officially members of the 2021 Class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Photos: Patrick Smith/Getty Images (Manning) and Doug Pensinger/Getty Images (Lynch))

Former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and safety John Lynch are bound for Canton.

They are now officially members of the Class of 2021 of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Manning earns induction in the first year he is eligible. Lynch has been a Hall of Fame finalist eight times.

Included in the rest of the Hall of Fame class are two other nominees who are selected in their first year of eligibility, former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and former Raiders and Packers defensive back Charles Woodson.

Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alan Faneca also earns induction, with two-time Raiders Super Bowl-winning coach Tom Flores and former Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson being the Coach and Senior Committee Nominees, respectively. Bill Nunn, a longtime Steelers personnel executive, was selected as the Contributor Committee Nominee.

The entire class is expected to enshrined in Canton, Ohio later this year. Last year, Broncos Ring of Fame Safety Steve Atwater was elected to the Hall. The ceremony to enshrine The “Smilin’ Assassin” and the rest of the 2020 class was postponed because of COVID-19. They, too, will be honored in a ceremony later this year.

Manning played with the Broncos from 2012-2015 after spending 14 years with the Indianapolis Colts. He is the only 5-time Most Valuable Player in NFL History. He was a 7-time 1st Team All-Pro, 14-time Pro Bowler and he amassed 71,940 passing yards and 539 touchdown passes.

Manning helped lead the Broncos to a 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. He and the Colts won Super Bowl XLI, defeating the Chicago Bears, 29-17, on February 4, 2007.

Lynch, like Manning, ended his career with the Broncos, playing in the Mile High City for four seasons after nine years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was on the Bucs team that beat the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Lynch was a 2-time 1st Team All-Pro and went to nine Pro Bowls, including every year he played for the Broncos.

He went on to serve as a broadcaster for Fox Sports before leaving the booth to become general manager of the San Francisco 49ers Lynch led the charge is assembling the 49ers roster that reached Super Bowl LIV last season.

KOA NewsRadio joins the Denver Broncos in saluting the team's newest Hall of Famers, Peyton Manning and John Lynch.

Peyton Manning holds the Lombardi Trophy after helping the Denver Broncos to a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. (Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
John Lynch (47) and Champ Bailey (24) look on during Denver Broncos mini-camp. (Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images)




ENGLEWOOD, Colo.— Former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (2012-15) and safety John Lynch (2004-07) were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021,it was announced on Saturday.

       This represents the second time multiple Broncos have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the same class. During the last five years, no team has more selections (6) to the Pro Football Hall of Fame than Denver.

       Manning joins John Elway (Class of 2004) as the second quarterback in Broncos history elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also becomes the third first-ballot Hall of Famer in team history (Elway & CB Champ Bailey, Class of 2019).

       An eight-time finalist, Lynch joins Bailey and safety Steve Atwater (Class of 2020) as Broncos defensive players selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


“This is a special day for the Denver Broncos and our fans as we celebrate the selection of two former players—Peyton Manning and John Lynch—to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We’re grateful that Peyton and John chose to spend the final four years of their careers right here in Denver, where they both made a profound impact on the Broncos and our community.

“The combination of Peyton’s deep love of the game, intense work-ethic and relentless preparation will never be matched. From his teammates to the coaches to the staff, Peyton raised the standard with the Broncos. His leadership made everyone better and we have great respect for him throughout our entire organization. All that Peyton was able to accomplish with the Broncos—the countless wins, his MVP award and our Super Bowl 50 run—would not have been possible without his remarkable perseverance and mental toughness in overcoming injury. His first-ballot selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the ultimate honor for such an incredible player and person who’s meant so much to this game.

“Being a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the last eight years, John has waited a long time for this moment. He was so much more than a four-time Pro Bowler with the Broncos, bringing tremendous leadership and presence to our team while solidifying his place among the greatest safeties in NFL history. Even after his decorated career with the Bucs, John still had such a desire to be the best. What we accomplished in 2005—going 13-3 and hosting the AFC Championship Game—would not have been possible without one of the best seasons of John’s career. We congratulate him on his long-awaited election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

Chosen by the 48-person Selection Committee, the Broncos greats will be officially enshrined on Sunday, Aug. 8, in Canton, Ohio. For more information about the HOF’s Enshrinement Week as well as details regarding the enshrinement for the Centennial Class of 2020, please visit

Lynch and Manning are the ninth and 10th former Broncos, respectively, elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame who spent significant portions of their careers with the franchise. They join Elway (Class of 2004), tackle Gary Zimmerman (Class of 2008), running back Floyd Little (Class of 2010), tight end Shannon Sharpe (Class of 2011), running back Terrell Davis (Class of 2017), Owner Pat Bowlen (Class of 2019), Bailey (Class of 2019) and Atwater (Class of 2020) with that distinction.

Other former Broncos players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame include cornerback Willie Brown (Class of 1984), running back Tony Dorsett (Class of 1994), safety Brian Dawkins (Class of 2018) and cornerback Ty Law(Class of 2019).


Modern-Era Selections

G Alan Faneca

WR Calvin Johnson

S John Lynch

QB Peyton Manning

CB Charles Woodson

Contributor Selection

Bill Nunn

Coach Selection

Tom Flores

Senior Selection

WR Drew Pearson



       Manning, the only five-time Most Valuable Player in NFL history (2003-04, ’08-09, ’13), played 18 seasons with Indianapolis (1998-2011) and Denver (2012-15).Among the four major American sports leagues, he is one of seven athletes (Wayne Gretzky, NHL; Barry Bonds, MLB; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA; Gordie Howe, NHL; Michael Jordan, NBA; Bill Russell, NBA) to win five or more MVP Awards.

       Manning led his teams to 200 combined regular-season and playoff wins, the most by a starting quarterback at the time of his retirement following the 2015 season. He is the only quarterback in league history to win a Super Bowl with two franchises (Indianapolis – SB XLI; Denver – SB 50) while also helping the Colts and Broncos to Super Bowls XLIV and XLVIII, respectively.

       No player in league history has earned more Pro Bowl appearances (14) than Manning, a 14-time team captain who ended his career as the NFL’s all-time record holder in career touchdown passes (539) and passing yards (71,940).

       A member of the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team and the NFL 100th Anniversary All-time Team, Manning was chosen to the Associated Press All-Pro team 10 times (7x first team; 3x second team). He was also twice named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2004, ’13) as well as Super Bowl XLI MVP.

       Manning led his teams to double-digit wins in all but two of his fully played seasons. He orchestrated 54 career game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week on 27 occasions as well as the conference’s Offensive Player of the Month eight times—both second-most in NFL history.

       The recipient of numerous local and national recognitions for his community involvement, Manning is one of only eight players in NFL history to win all three of the league’s most prestigious community awards: the Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award (2004), the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award (2005) and the Bart Starr Award (2015).

       During his regular-season career, Manning played 266 games (265 starts, 186-79 record) and completed 6,125-of-9,380 passes (65.3%) for 71,940 yards with 539 touchdowns and 251 interceptions (96.5 rtg.). He added 667 yards and 18 touchdowns rushing.

       Advancing to the postseason 15 times in his career, Manning started 27 playoff games (14-13 record) in his career and completed 649-of-1,027 passes (63.2%) for 7,339 yards with 40 touchdowns and 25 interceptions (87.4 rtg.). He also had three rushing touchdowns.

       In Manning’s four seasons in Denver, he helped the Broncos to the most wins (55) and highest winning percentage (.764) of any team in the NFL while capturing four AFC West Division titles, two AFC Championships and a Super Bowl victory. No player threw more touchdowns (151) in the regular season/playoffs combined from 2012-2015 than Manning, who ranked third in the league in overall passer rating (99.6) as well as fourth in both overall passing yards (19,062) and completions (1,639) during that period.

       In 2013, he posted the most prolific season of any quarterback in NFL history en route to earning his fifth MVP award and receiving Sports Illustrated’s prestigious Sportsman of the Year award. Manning, who helped the Broncos to their first Super Bowl appearance in 15 years, set NFL single-season records for touchdown passes (55) and passing yards (5,477) while leading the highest-scoring offense (606 pts., 37.9 PPG) in NFL history.

       Manning’s first season with the Broncos in 2012 saw him earn the Associated Press’ Comeback Player of the Year award for his remarkable return to the field from a neck injury that forced him to miss the 2011 season. He also finished as runner-up for league MVP after setting Broncos single-season records for every major passing category.

       Selected by the Colts with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft from the University of Tennessee, Manning was named NFL MVP four times (2003-04, ‘08-09) as a Colt. He led the team to 11 playoff appearances, including nine consecutive postseason berths and 10+win seasons from 2002-2010 before missing the 2011 season.

       A College Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2017, Manning finished his collegiate career as the Southeastern Conference’s then all-time leading passer with 11,201 yards and a 39-6 record.


Lynch, a nine-time Pro Bowler and a four-time Associated Press All-Pro selection, played 15 NFL seasons, including his first 11 years (1993-2003) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his final four years (2004-07) with the Broncos. He was inducted into the Buccaneers Ring of Honor and Broncos Ring of Fame in 2016, earning the rare distinction of being inducted into the Ring of Honor/Fame with two NFL teams.

A finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in each of the last eight years, Lynch’s nine Pro Bowls (4 with Denver; 5 with Tampa Bay) trail only Hall of Famer Ken Houston(10) among safeties in league history.

In 224 career regular-season games played (191 starts), he totaled 1,227 tackles (789 solo), 13 sacks (109 yds.), 26 interceptions (204 yds.), 100 passes defensed, 16 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. He added 71 tackles (41 solo), two interceptions (7 yds.) and 11 passes defensed in 12 career postseasons starts.

He spent the first 11 years of his NFL career with Tampa Bay before joining the Broncos as a free agent in 2004, concluding his Buccaneers career ranked third on the their all-time tackles list (973), tied for fourth in interceptions (23) and second in games played (164).

Lynch served as a key leader of the 2002 Buccaneers squad, helping the club to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVII. He also helped Denver reach the AFC Championship Game in 2005, marking his third career conference championship game appearance.

Named to the Pro Bowl following each of his four seasons in Denver, Lynch joined cornerbacks Bailey and Aqib Talib as the only three players in Broncos history to make the Pro Bowl in each of their first four years with the club.

Lynch saw action in 60 regular-season games (59 starts) for the Broncos and totaled 304 tackles (215 solo), seven sacks (69 yds.), three interceptions (4 yds.), 26 passes defensed, nine forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He helped Denver’s defense rank No. 8 overall in total defense from 2004-07, joining fellow Pro Football Hall of Famer Dawkins as the only NFL safeties during that span to post seven sacks and nine forced fumbles.

Denver’s defense in 2005 allowed the fewest points per game (16.1) by the franchise in 14 years, helping the team to a 13-3 record and an AFC West Division title. The Broncos’ 2005 squad secured the team’s first playoff win at Empower Field at Mile High (and first postseason win since Super Bowl XXXIII) by beating the two-time defending Super Bowl-champion Patriots. Lynch’s fourth-quarter interception helped seal Denver’s 27-13 win to halt New England’s 10-game postseason win streak and propel the Broncos to the AFC Championship Game.

Selected by Tampa Bay in the third round (82nd overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft from Stanford University, Lynch was the recipient of both the Bart Starr Award and the Byron “Whizzer” White Award in 2006 recognizing his off-the-field efforts in the community, including his work through the John Lynch Foundation.

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