Peyton Manning writing letter to bolster Edgerrin James' Hall of Fame hopes

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Peyton Manning is known for writing letters, hand-written notes to teammates, competitors and coaches.

And now Pro Football Hall of Fame voters will apparently be getting a letter from Manning as well.

An endorsement letter

On Wednesday, Hall of Fame Selection Committee member and longtime member of the Indianapolis sports media Mike Chappell of Fox 59 told local radio host Dan Dakich that he will bring an endorsement letter from Manning to Miami for February 1, when the committee meets to vote on the Class of 2020.

It’s Chappell’s job to present Edgerrin James to the group, and convince the 47 other members of the committee that James is worthy of enshrinement.

Peyton Manning, left, is writing a letter on behalf of former teammate Edgerrin James, left, hoping to bolster James' chance of being voted into the Hall of Fame. (AP/Darron Cummings)

This is the fourth year that James, who played 148 games over 11 seasons with the Colts, Cardinals and Seahawks, has been among the final 15. No more than five players can be in an induction class.

“Peyton Manning and I have kind of been working on this, but he’s giving me an endorsement letter for Edgerrin to give to the selectors,” Chappell said. “I think that will carry some weight. I’m optimistic, I’m confident, but just as we know, when you think you really know what will happen, something else will happen and he won’t get in.”

Manning also wrote a letter to the selection committee last year, supporting cornerback Ty Law’s candidacy.

Numbers hold up

James’ career numbers hold up: he totaled 12,246 yards (4.0 YPA) and 80 touchdowns rushing, and 3,364 receiving yards, giving him 15,610 yards from scrimmage.

At the time he retired in 2009, he was 10th all-time in rushing yards; the nine players in front of him are all in the Hall, as are the next three behind him: Marcus Allen, Franco Harris and Thurman Thomas.

James was 11th all time in yards from scrimmage when he retired.

The fourth pick in the 1999 draft, James is the only running back among this year’s finalists.

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