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Colts greats Dwight Freeney, Reggie Wayne named finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024

Two former Colts legends are one step potentially closer to being enshrined into football immortality this summer.

Indianapolis Colts v Oakland Raiders Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Two former Indianapolis Colts greats, Dwight Freeney and Reggie Wayne, have been named as finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024:

Wayne and Freeney are joined by 13 other modern-era finalists: DB Eric Allen, DE Jared Allen, OT Willie Anderson, OG Jahri Evans, TE Antonio Gates, S Rodney Harrison, KR/WR Devin Hester, WR Torry Holt, WR Andre Johnson, DE Julius Peppers, RB Fred Taylor, LB Patrick Willis, and S Darren Woodson.

Both Freeney and Wayne are well deserving of this honor—and both should eventually receive their own golden jacket and bronze bust, whether it’s next summer or in the near future.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet January 16-17th in Atlanta to further narrow down the finalists to next year’s Hall of Fame Class, which will be announced on NFL Honors Night on Thursday, February 8th, 2024.

Good luck to both #93 and #87!

AFC Wild Card Game: Kansas City Chiefs v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Dwight Freeney

Biography: Originally selected by the Colts in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft out of Syracuse, the ‘undersized’ 6’1,” 268 pound sackmaster was part wrecking ball meets Tasmanian Devil—featuring a patented spin move that would simply demoralize even the league’s best left tackles. Freeney wasn’t all speed off the edge though, as he had a surprising bull rush and was difficult to block with his lower center of gravity and unique playing strength. He was one of the most dominant pass rushers of his era as a certified game wrecker off the edge. Freeney was a force that opposing offensive coordinators had to be aware of and account for at all times as he could ruin a gameplan in a hurry.

Accolades: Super Bowl XLI Champion, 3x NFL First-Team All-Pro, 1x NFL 2nd Team All-Pro, 7x Pro Bowler, NFL Sacks Leader, NFL Forced Fumbles, Co-Leader, NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and Colts Ring of Honor.

Playing Career: Indianapolis Colts (2002-12), San Diego Chargers (2013-14), Arizona Cardinals (2015), Atlanta Falcons (2016), Seattle Seahawks (2017), and Detroit Lions (2017).

Career Stats: 350 tackles (299 solo), 128 tackles for loss, 125.5 sacks, and 47 forced fumbles during 218 career games (157 starts).

NFL: NOV 18 Chiefs v Colts

Reggie Wayne

Biography: Perhaps the ‘Robin’ to Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison’s ‘Batman’ to begin his illustrious Colts career (as a former Indy 2001 first round pick), the pair formed one of the most highly productive wide receiver duos in all-time NFL history—with the unworldly Peyton Manning throwing them tight spirals. Wayne also eventually showed that even without #88, #87 was a bonafide #1 wideout (and a ‘Bruce’ Wayne) by his own merits. While he was never the most dominating athlete physically, Wayne was as sure-handed and pristine of a route runner as you’ll ever see in today’s game (and had deceptive speed)—with a knack for making critical catches during the game’s biggest moments. You may as well have called Wayne ‘Mr. Third Down’ with his propensity to make key catches to consistently move the sticks and sustain long scoring drives for one of the league’s best offenses during the golden ‘Manning Era’ of Colts football. Wayne was highly regarded as a locker room leader (and a beloved fan favorite) for the Colts and as mentioned, was instrumental in bridging two eras of iconic Indy quarterbacks. He also wasn’t done with the Colts after his playing career ended, as he is now the wide receivers coach for the team.

Accolades: Super Bowl XLI Champion, First-Team NFL All-Pro, 2x NFL 2nd-Team All-Pro, 6x Pro Bowler, NFL Receiving Yards Leader, Colts All-Time Leader in Games Played, and Colts Ring of Honor.

Playing Career: Indianapolis Colts (2001-14)

Stats: 1,070 receptions for 14,345 receiving yards and 82 touchdown receptions during 211 career games (197 career starts).