Is 4th Time a Charm for this Vikings Legend?

The Vikings Gigantic
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An annual event nowadays, former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is again a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The 41-year-old last played for the Carolina Panthers in 2015 — nearly won a Super Bowl — and played in the NFL for 12 seasons, the same amount as current Viking Harrison Smith.

Is 4th Time a Charm for this Vikings Legend?

Fifteen players were announced as finalists, and normally Allen among the bunch would be a joyous development. But now it’s a tradition that hasn’t ended happily three times prior.

Is 4th Time
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This is the full finalist class for 2024:

  • Eric Allen (DB)
  • Jared Allen (DE)
  • Willie Anderson (OT)
  • Jahri Evans (OG)
  • Dwight Freeney (DE)
  • Antonio Gates (TE)
  • Rodney Harrison (DB)
  • Devin Hester (KR/PR)
  • Torry Holt (WR)
  • Andre Johnson (WR)
  • Julius Peppers (DE)
  • Fred Taylor (RB)
  • Reggie Wayne (WR)
  • Patrick Willis (LB)
  • Darren Woodson (DB)

In 2008, the Kansas City Chiefs traded Allen to Minnesota for a 1st-Round pick and two 3rd-Round picks while the organizations swapped 6th-Rounders in the 2008 NFL Draft. The trade is considered one of the best in Minnesota sports history. The Chiefs even landed Jamaal Charles, among other players, for their troubles.

Jared Allen
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During his tenure with the Vikings from 2008 to 2013, Allen led the NFL in sacks with 85.5, quite the return on investment for the deal with Kansas City. Allen was also an integral part of the 2009 Vikings team that was mere moments away from a Super Bowl trip against Peyton Manning’s Colts.

Allen ranks 16th in NFL history in sacks with 136 – more than Carl Eller, Rickey Jackson, Charley Haley, Andre Tippett, etc. All of those HOF eligible men, besides Allen, are in the Hall of Fame.

Based on the numbers, Allen’s pass-rushing production should automate his entry into the Hall of Fame sooner than later. He shouldn’t be a “fringe” candidate, waiting on multiple lists for years to don a gold jacket. Bryant Young from the San Francisco 49ers, who got the call in 2022, retired in 2007. If Allen must follow in his footsteps — a godforsaken delay — he’d earn HOF credentialing in 2030 or so. That’s too far away.

PurplePTSD: Jared Allen HOF Update, Playoff Picture, Schedule Flex?
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Richard Seymour was inducted into the 2022 class, riding his career total of 57.5 sacks and three 1st-Team All-Pro selections to football’s eternal club. Impressive. Allen, who was denied entry during last cycle, tabulated 136 sacks and four 1st-Team All-Pro awards.

Allen was welcomed in the Vikings’ Ring of Honor in 2022 — not quite the Hall of Fame, but a prestigious honor nevertheless. Vikings owner Mark Wilf said about Allen in ROH, “He’s a special player in Vikings history, and now and forever, he’ll be a Viking legend in our Ring of Honor. Just a great player and off the field as well. Really well-deserved.”

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Last month, Allen made headlines when he suggested quarterback Kirk Cousins could be done in Minnesota. “I mean, you blew your Achilles out at this point in your career. It’s a young man’s game. It’s going that way. I don’t know if you can invest that much more money it would take to keep him. I don’t think it has any bearing on his ability, but you’re gonna come off an injury,” Allen told The Up & Adams Show.

Host Kay Adams clarified that Cousins is in the final year of his contract, and Allen continued, “Oh, you can’t pay him. It’s a no-brainer. You can’t pay him. Sorry Kirk, nothing personal, but I mean, as a fan, if I’m the GM, what are you gonna have to pay him? 25, 30 million a year? Sorry, the ride’s done.”

Last year, five players entered the Hall of Fame:

  • Ronde Barber (DB)
  • Darrelle Revis (DB)
  • Joe Thomas (OT)
  • Zach Thomas (LB)
  • DeMarcus Ware (OLB)

The 2024 inductees will be announced in February.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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