Vikings Legendary Pass Rusher Has Been Named a HOF Finalist


Vikings Legendary Pass Rusher Jared Allen Named HOF Finalist
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings Jared Allen (69) is inducted into the Ring of Honor against the Arizona Cardinals at half time at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

For the third consecutive year, Vikings legendary pass rusher Jared Allen is among the former players who have been named finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Each of the previous two years have ended in disappointment for Allen, who played 12 years in the NFL and six with the Vikings, but perhaps the third time is the charm for the Idaho State product. The finalists include the following players:

  • DE Jared Allen
  • OT Willie Anderson
  • DB Ronde Barber
  • DE/OLB Dwight Freeney
  • PR/KR/WR Devin Hester
  • WR Torry Holt
  • WR Andre Johnson
  • CB Albert Lewis
  • CB Darrelle Revis
  • OT Joe Thomas
  • LB Zach Thomas
  • DE Demarcus Ware
  • WR Reggie Wayne
  • LB Patrick Willis
  • S Darren Woodson

Allen’s career got off to a quiet, yet productive start. He only started ten games in his rookie year with the Chiefs, but he recorded nine sacks. Allen moved into a full-time starting role in 2005, and he immediately made a huge impact, recording 11 sacks and forcing six fumbles.

Allen truly broke headlines in 2007 when he recorded a league leading 15.5 sacks. However, his life off the field quickly became just as much of a headline due to two separate DUI charges during 2006. A third would have resulted in a yearlong suspension from the NFL.

Dec 5, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jared Allen (69) is honored before the game against the Denver Broncos at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The relationship between Allen and the Chiefs franchise came to a head after the 2007 season where the Chiefs went an abysmal 4-12 despite Allen’s All-Pro level of play. Allen no longer wanted anything to do with a rebuilding franchise and requested a trade. 

The Minnesota Vikings soon came to a deal with the Chiefs to acquire the star defensive end, offering a first-round pick, two third rounders, and a sixth rounder. Minnesota then inked Allen to a six-year, $31 million contract. Seems like the equivalent of pulling change out of the car cup holder to pay for that Big Mac meal when you look at what All-Pro players get paid today. 

Legendary Vikings Pass Rusher Named HOF Semifinalist
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Vikings fans know where the story goes from here. The Vikings won the division each of the next two years and were an overtime away from making the Super Bowl in 2009. In Allen’s six years with the Vikings, the team made three postseason appearances, and Allen never had fewer than 11 sacks. His dominance from the defensive end position came to the peak of its powers in 2011 when he recorded 22 sacks, just half a sack behind Michael Strahan’s single season record of 22.5. 

Allen without question contributed to a new winning culture in Minnesota, who had made the postseason just one time in the seven years prior to Allen’s arrival to the the team. 2008 and 2009 were also the first back-to-back division titles for Minnesota since the era of the Purple People Eaters in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

The Vikings have made the postseason six of the 12 years since Allen’s arrival. Obviously, Allen isn’t solely responsible for everything that has happened, but he clearly played a huge part in Minnesota’s return towards relevance. Prior to the 2014 season, Allen signed a 4-year, $32 million deal with the Bears.

Defensive end Jared Allen made the Pro Bowl five times in his 12 NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers.

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Allen started 15 games in 2014, but he recorded just 5.5 sacks for the Bears. Two games into the 2015 season, Chicago traded him to Carolina where he made his first and only Super Bowl with the Panthers, but lost to the Denver Broncos. On April 14, 2016, Allen signed a one day deal with the Vikings and officially announced his retirement from football, and ever since, his Hall of Fame status has been up for debate.

In all, Allen finished his career with 187 regular season games played, including 181 starts. In those games, he recorded 648 tackles, 171 TFLs, 136 sacks, 58 pass defenses, 6 INTs, 32 forced fumbles, 19 fumble recoveries, and 2 defensive touchdowns. The 136 sacks rank 12th since 1982 when the stat became official.

Earlier this season, Allen was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor, and he famously rode onto the field on horseback during the celebration prior to Minnesota’s Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals. So, Vikings fans, what do you think? Should Jared Allen be elected into the Hall of Fame this year? Let us know on either Facebook or Twitter.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro-Football-Reference helped with this piece.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.


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