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Freeney, Wayne named finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame

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

Retired Colts players Dwight Freeney and Reggie Wayne are among 15 modern-era finalists for the class of 2023.

  • 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.
  • 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. Wayne retired in 2016 and in March 2022, was hired as the wide receivers coach for the Colts.

Freeney is one of three first-timers on the ballot.

Other finalists include Jared Allen, Devin Hester, DeMarcus Ware, and Darren Woodson. Wide receiver Andre Johnson, who played for the Colts in 2015, also made the cut. Retired Colts defensive end Robert Mathis, named a semifinalist for the hall in November, did not make the final ballot.

Up to five of the 15 finalists can be chosen to be part of this year’s class. The inductees will be announced during the NFL Honors show on Feb. 9.