Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Bucs

Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021

A closer look at the latest inductees into pro football’s most hallowed fraternity.
In this September 2000 file photo, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' John Lynch hangs onto the ball after recovering a fumble against the New England Patriots.
In this September 2000 file photo, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' John Lynch hangs onto the ball after recovering a fumble against the New England Patriots. [ Times (2000) ]
Published Feb. 7

Here is the Pro Football Hall of Fame class for 2021:

Alan Faneca, offensive guard

In this Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006 file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers' Alan Faneca holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, in the Super Bowl.
In this Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006 file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers' Alan Faneca holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, in the Super Bowl. [ MICHAEL CONROY | Associated Press (2006) ]

Teams: Steelers (1998-2007); Jets (2008-2009); Cardinals (2010)

Pro Bowls: 9

First-team All-Pro: 6

Super Bowl champion: 2005 season

Diagnosed with epilepsy at age 15, Faneca evolved into a durable, deft pulling guard for the daunting Steelers power-run game at the turn of the millennium. He missed two games in 13 seasons (including one when Bill Cowher rested his starters after a playoff seeding had been clinched), and was selected by fans to the Steelers’ 75th-anniversary all-time team in 2007.

Calvin Johnson, wide receiver

In this Nov. 26, 2015, file photo, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81), defended by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Eric Rowe (32) , catches a pass for a touchdown.
In this Nov. 26, 2015, file photo, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81), defended by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Eric Rowe (32) , catches a pass for a touchdown. [ RICK OSENTOSKI | Associated Press (2015) ]

Team: Lions (2007-2015)

Pro Bowls: 6

First-team All-Pro: 3

A 6-foot-5 blend of fleetness and flexibility, “Megatron” served notice at the NFL combine, when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds. In a brief yet mesmerizing career, he finished with 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns, setting an NFL single-season record with 1,964 yards in 2012. His 5,137 recesiving yards from 2011-2013 are the most in a three-year stretch in NFL history.

John Lynch, safety

In this 1999 file photo, John Lynch returns an interception against the Philadelphia Eagles at Veterans Stadium.
In this 1999 file photo, John Lynch returns an interception against the Philadelphia Eagles at Veterans Stadium. [ Times (1999) ]

Teams: Buccaneers (1993-2003); Broncos (2004-2007); Broncos general manager (2017-present)

Pro Bowls: 9

First-team All-Pro: 2

Super Bowl champion: 2002 season

A heady fixture in the revolutionary Tampa 2 defense, Lynch intercepted 26 passes and dislodged roughly as many molars in a 15-season career. He posted three seasons of at least 100 tackles, and recorded nine of his 16 forced fumbles after the age of 33. A hall of fame finalist for the eighth consecutive year, he was inducted into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor in 2016.

Peyton Manning, quarterback

In this Jan. 21, 2007, file photo, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates running back Joseph Addai's 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis.
In this Jan. 21, 2007, file photo, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates running back Joseph Addai's 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis. [ AMY SANCETTA | Associated Press (2007) ]

Teams: Colts (1998-2011); Broncos (2012-2015)

Pro Bowls: 14

First-team All-Pro: 7

Super Bowl champion: 2006 and 2015 seasons

Upon his retirement following his second Super Bowl title, Manning owned nearly every major quarterback record in NFL history including career touchdown passes (539), career passing yards (71,940), single-season passing TDs (55), single-season passing yards (5,477), total wins (201 including playoffs) and game-winning drives (56). His five NFL MVP awards also are a record.

Charles Woodson, cornerback/free safety

In this Nov. 15, 2009, file photo, the Green Bay Packers' Charles Woodson reacts during the first half of a game against the Dallas Cowboys in Green Bay, Wis.
In this Nov. 15, 2009, file photo, the Green Bay Packers' Charles Woodson reacts during the first half of a game against the Dallas Cowboys in Green Bay, Wis. [ PRISCHING | Associated Press (2009) ]

Teams: Raiders (1998-2005, 2013-2015); Packers (2006-2012)

Pro Bowls: 9

First-team All-Pro: 4

Super Bowl champion: 2010 season

One of the few players to compete in a Pro Bowl in three different decades, Woodson was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1998 (five interceptions), and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 (nine INTs, three returned for touchdowns). His 65 career interceptions are the fifth-most in NFL history, and he ranks second in career picks returned for TDs (11).

Inducted as senior nominees

Drew Pearson, wide receiver

In this Jan. 22, 1983, file photo, Drew Pearson of the Dallas Cowboys holds the ball after scoring the team's first touchdown against Washington during the NFC Championship Game.
In this Jan. 22, 1983, file photo, Drew Pearson of the Dallas Cowboys holds the ball after scoring the team's first touchdown against Washington during the NFC Championship Game. [ Associated Press (1983) ]

Team: Cowboys (1973-1983)

Pro Bowls: 3

First-team All-Pro: 3

Super Bowl champion: 2007 season

An undrafted free agent out of Tulsa, Pearson ultimately earned a spot on the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade team, finishing with 489 catches for 7,822 yards and 50 touchdowns. His late TD catch from Roger Staubach in a 1975 playoff victory against the Vikings is widely deemed the original “Hail Mary” play.

Tom Flores, coach

Raiders coach Tom Flores is carried off the field after his team's 38-9 victory against Washington in Super Bowl 18 in Tampa.
Raiders coach Tom Flores is carried off the field after his team's 38-9 victory against Washington in Super Bowl 18 in Tampa. [ Associated Press (1984) ]

Teams: Raiders (1979-1987), Seahawks (1992-1984)

Super Bowl champion: 1980 and 1983 seasons

The NFL’s first minority coach to win a Super Bowl, Flories’ 83 wins with the Raiders are the second-most in franchise history, behind only John Madden. Amassed 97–87 regular season record and 8–3 playoff mark.

Inducted as a contributor

Bill Nunn Jr., journalist/NFL scout

Nunn, who died in 2014, was the secret weapon behind the Steelers’ Super Bowl teams of the 1970s. He scouted historically Black colleges before the rest of the league became aware of the talent found there, adding stellar players to Pittsburgh’s roster.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times Super Bowl 55 coverage

ON TOM BRADY: How the QB’s devotion to detail led the Bucs to Super Bowl 55

TUNE IN EARLY: If you want to see Super Bowl 55’s hero, watch the pregame ceremony

SUPER BOWL IN A PANDEMIC: How Tampa Bay is handling Super Bowl and coronavirus

WHO’S GOING?: Meet the fans who spend $20,000 on Super Bowl tickets

MORE BUCS PHOTOS: Follow the Tampa Bay Times Bucs coverage on Instagram

BUCS NEWSLETTER: Sign up for the Bucs RedZone newsletter with team reporter Joey Knight:

We’re working hard to bring you the latest Super Bowl news from around the Tampa Bay area. This effort takes resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a digital or print subscription.