According to NFL.com’s Adam Rank, the Indianapolis Colts are predicted to have two former greats inducted into the Pro Football Hall’s Class of 2021—Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne—one already being an absolute lock, as you may have heard of a certain #18:
Peyton Manning, quarterback (Indianapolis Colts, 1998-2011; Denver Broncos, 2012-15)
Picking the Hall of Fame class is an all-day affair and seems kind of grueling. While I’ve never been in the room for the final voting, I would imagine it must be a welcome reprieve when a player like Peyton Manning is up for nomination. Because this is about as unanimous as it will ever get. Even the one wise guy who tries to feign an argument against him will get laughed out of the room. Manning is perhaps the greatest regular-season quarterback in NFL history. Manning won an unprecedented five MVP awards — a mark that is pretty astounding given the high-profile quarterbacks he’s played with, including Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Manning also won a Super Bowl with two different teams, so there is no point in putting more words on this page about his qualifications.
OTHER PROJECTED INDUCTEE
Reggie Wayne, wide receiver (Indianapolis Colts, 2001-2014)
Reggie was a great receiver and he certainly deserves to get in. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2010 and a two-time second-team selection (‘07 and ‘09). It was surprising he didn’t receive first-team honors in ‘07 considering he led the NFL in receiving yards that year. He was also a member of the Colts’ Super Bowl XLI championship team. And he has a couple of things working for him here. Namely, former Colt Edgerrin James is going in as a member of the 2020 class. Peyton will be inducted in 2021, too. Wayne certainly deserves a spot in Canton with his former teammates.
As Rank mentions, there could actually be three Colts formally inducted next year, as running back Edgerrin James was recently named part of the Pro Football Hall’s Class of 2020—but will have to wait a summer for his enshrinement as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
That being said, next year’s Hall of Fame weekend could very well be a ‘Colts party’ in Canton, Ohio—with three of the greatest offensive players in Horseshoe franchise history being given their well-deserved golden jackets respectively.