Thursday Is a Massive Day for 2 Vikings

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Annually right before the Super Bowl, one of the league’s most important events occurs. Singer Kelly Clarkson will host the NFL honors on Thursday. Nationally televised on NBC and NFL Network at 8 p.m. CT, the event features the announcement of the Associated Press awards like MVP and Offensive Player of the Year and the newest class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A current and a former Viking could be in the spotlight.

Thursday Is a Massive Day for 2 Vikings

Thursday, February 9th, could be the best day for a Vikings legend. Of course, the wedding day and the birthday of children are the top dates for many people, but some football players can add two more — the Super Bowl and the Hall of Fame.

Thursday Is a Massive Day
Defensive end Jared Allen. © Brace Hemmelgarn, USA TODAY Sport.

Jared Allen is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023. It is his third time as a nominee. The 49-person selection committee voted last month, and the players know whether they are in. However, they obviously have to keep quiet.

Former Vikings defensive tackle, and teammate of Allen, Kevin Williams, said, “My fingers are crossed. Hopefully, the third time is a charm. I’m rooting for him. He deserves to be in. I didn’t figure it would take him a couple of tries to get in, but you never know what those voters are thinking.”

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On October 30, Allen was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor. He became the 27th member. The defender played 12 seasons in the NFL, six of those in purple for the Vikings. He racked up an outstanding number of 136 sacks, 85.5 in the six years in Minnesota, including his almost record-breaking year in 2011 when he sacked QBs 22 times. The record is still Michael Strahan’s, who had 22.5. It has since been tied by T.J. Watt in 2021. In six seasons with the Vikings, Allen landed in the top ten in sacks every season.

Hall of Famers that were at some point in their lives part of the Vikings are Alan Page, Brett Favre, Bud Grant, Carl Eller, Chris Doleman, Cris Carter, Dave Casper, Fran Tarkenton, Gary Zimmerman, Hugh McElhenny, Jan Stenerud, Jim Finks, Jim Langer, John Randle, Mick Tingelhoff, Morten Andersen, Paul Krause, Randall McDaniel, Randy Moss, Ron Yary, Steve Hutchinson, and Warren Moon.

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Besides Allen, another Vikings will be in the spotlight on Thursday. Justin Jefferson is in the running for MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. His odds of winning MVP are slim. No wide receiver has ever won the award, and the last nine winners were all quarterbacks. The last non-QB to receive the honors was former Viking Adrian Peterson in 2012. The wideout already taunted the nature of the award.

However, Jefferson is considered the favorite to win Offensive Player of the Year. The Pro Football Writers honored him with their OPOY trophy, and nine of the last winners of that award also won the AP accolade, which is viewed as the official one.

Jefferson led the league in receiving yards and became the first Viking ever to do that. Not even the Hall of Famers Randy Moss and Cris Carter could do that. He also led the NFL in receptions and became the youngest player ever to lead the competition in both categories in the same season, breaking an 86-year-old record.

Jefferson was a unanimous selection to the All-Pro team for his fantastic season, his first appearance on the first team after consecutive years as a second-team All-Pro.

Justin Jefferson Is about
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The wideout will soon sign a gigantic extension, most likely making him the highest-paid non-quarterback ever. He is breaking record after record and is the unmistakable face of the franchise.

The current top wide receiver contracts are Tyreek Hill’s, who is getting paid $120 million over four years, and Davante Adams, with $140 million over five years. Both deals were signed last offseason and reset the market for wideouts.

Jefferson is every bit as good as the two, but he is five and seven years younger and, therefore, has all the leverage he needs to become the highest-paid non-quarterback in football. His production is unprecedented, as he is the player with the most receiving yards in the first three career seasons by a wide margin.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt