Former Packers defensive backs Woodson, Butler named Hall of Fame semifinalists
Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Jared Allen and Calvin Johnson are first-year eligible players to make the list of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2021.
Joining them are four players who previously have been eligible, but never made the semifinals: Eric Allen, Willie Anderson, Cornelius Bennett and Rodney Harrison.
A player must be retired for five seasons before being considered for entry to the Canton, Ohio, shrine.
The group of 25 announced Tuesday also includes Ronde Barber, Tony Boselli, LeRoy Butler, Alan Faneca, Torry Holt, John Lynch, Clay Matthews, Sam Mills, Richard Seymour, Steve Tasker, Fred Taylor, Zach Thomas, Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne, Patrick Willis, Darren Woodson and Bryant Young.
Candidates will be trimmed to 15 modern-day finalists who will be considered for entry by the selection committee during Super Bowl week in February. Inductions are scheduled for next August, when the 2020 class and a special centennial class also will be enshrined after the COVID-19 pandemic forced postponement of those ceremonies last summer.
Also on the voting ballot in the coaching category is Tom Flores; in the contributors category is Bill Nunn; and in the seniors category is Drew Pearson.
Between four and eight new members will be selected.