By Ben Warwick

DENVER (CBS4) – The Pro Football Hall of Fame could be awash in orange and blue in 2021. The Hall released their initial list of 130 modern-era candidates for enshrinement in Canton next year. Nine Broncos made the cut for the chance to represent the franchise in the Hall.

The most notable, and most likely the surest nominee, is quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning led the Broncos from 2012-2015, winning 45 games, four straight division titles, and the Super Bowl 50 title against the Carolina Panthers. While in Denver, Manning threw for 17,112 yards and 140 touchdowns. He was named to three Pro Bowls and was selected to the First Team All-Pro twice. This is Manning’s first year of eligibility.

(credit: CBS)

Rod Smith is eligible for enshrinement as well. In his 12 seasons in Denver, Smith amassed 11,389 receiving yards and 571 touchdowns. He won Super Bowl XXXII against the Green Bay Packers and Super Bowl XXXIII against the Atlanta Falcons. He was named to two Pro Bowls.

Jason Elam helped the Broncos win Supers Bowls XXXII and XXXIII as perhaps the best kicker in franchise history. He played for the Broncos for 15 seasons, from 1993 to 2007, and played for Atlanta in 2008 and 2009 before retiring as a Bronco. He holds team records in total points scored, field goals made, field goal attempts, extra points made, extra points attempted, and extra point percentage.

Jason Elam (credit: Denver Broncos Football Club)

John Lynch started his career in Tampa Bay, and played there for 11 season before coming to the Broncos. He played in Denver for four years and quickly became a lynchpin as a free safety.

Tom Nalen played his entire career in orange and blue, and was a key member of the offensive line protecting quarterback John Elway. He won two Super Bowls with Denver in 1997 and 1998, was selected to five Pro Bowls, and was named a First Team All-Pro twice.

Tom Nalen in 2005 (credit: Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Other nominees who have spent time with the Broncos are Wes Welker, Glyn Milburn, Neil Smith, and Michael Dean Perry.

The list of nominees will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in January before the announcement is made.

Ben Warwick

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