Amongst the semifinalists for the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class are three legendary players who played for the Indianapolis Colts.
This week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame revealed the list of modern-era semifinalists for the Class of 2023. Amongst the nominees are three former Indianapolis Colts that could very well earn their Gold Jackets this year. The three are Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, and Reggie Wayne.
In recent years, the Colts have seen Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Now, three of their teammates are semifinalists to join them enshrined in Canton.
Three Colts legends are semifinalists for Hall of Fame
Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts DE/OLB 2002 – 2012
In his first year of eligibility, Dwight Freeney earned a spot on the list of semifinalists. Freeney was the Colts’ first-round draft pick back in 2002 out of Syracuse. His resume speaks for itself. A seven-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro, and a Super Bowl Champion as a member of the 2006 Indianapolis Colts.
Dwight Freeney was a force of nature on a dominant defense that operated on the opposite side of a team with one of the NFL’s most dominating offenses. In 11 years in blue, he accounted for 107.5 sacks and 125.5 total in his career. Good for 18th all-time, and just 2.5 ahead of the next 2023 HOF nominee.
Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts DE/OLB 2003 – 2016
Entering year two of eligibility Robert Mathis finds himself on back-to-back lists of semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Maybe the voters intended for Mathis and Freeney to be nominees in the same class, maybe it’s just a coincidence.
Mathis, a fifth-round pick by the Colts in 2003, spent the entirety of his career in Indianapolis. In those 14 seasons, he was named to the Pro Bowl five times, a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2013, and also a member of the 2006 World Champion team. Mathis ranks 19th all-time in sacks with 123, leading Indianapolis All-Time.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts WR 2001 – 2014
Year four of eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame could be the time. Reggie Wayne has the opportunity to join the dynamic duo on the journey to Canton. Currently, Wayne is serving on the Colts’ staff as the wide receivers coach.
Reggie Wayne is second in every statistical receiving category for the Colts behind Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison. In his career, Wayne was a six-time Pro bowler, First-Team All-Pro in 2010, and a World Champion of the 2006 team as well. Notice a theme yet?
With 14,345 yards receiving, 87 ranks 10th all-time, one spot behind Marvin Harrison. His 82 Touchdowns rank him one spot behind Calvin Johnson, tied for 23rd all-time. Comparably, his case is sufficient and seemingly well deserving.
There may not be another trio of teammates as deserving as this to be named semifinalists. 15 finalists from the 2023 Class will be named at the NFL Honors ceremony in February and the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will take place in August.