Indianapolis Colts

Colts greats Freeney, Mathis, Wayne named semifinalists for Hall of Fame

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Three Indianapolis football icons are one step closer to joining the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Retired Colts players Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, and Reggie Wayne are among 28 modern-era semifinalists for the class of 2023, the hall of fame announced Tuesday.

  • Freeney, a defensive end and outside linebacker, was drafted by the Colts in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft and remained with the team through the 2012 season. He helped Indianapolis defeat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and appeared in seven Pro Bowls. Freeney also played for San Diego, Arizona, Atlanta, Seattle, and Detroit before retiring in 2018.
  • Mathis, a defensive end and outside linebacker, spent his entire career in Indianapolis after being drafted by the Colts in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He, like Freeney, helped lift the Colts to victory in Super Bowl XLI. Freeney is the league’s all-time leader in both forced fumbles and strip sacks and retired in 2016.
  • Wayne, a wide receiver, played 14 seasons with the Colts after being drafted in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Wayne helped lead the Colts to victory in Super Bowl XLI, was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, and is ranked 10th all-time in both NFL receiving yards and NFL career interceptions. He retired in 2016, and in March 2022, was hired as the wide receivers coach for the Colts.

To be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an individual must not have participated as an active player for five consecutive seasons.

The list of 28 semifinalists will be trimmed to 15 finalists before the final voting process for the class of 2023.