Legendary Vikings Pass Rusher Misses Out on Hall of Fame for 4th Time
On Thursday evening, the NFL revealed their 2024 Hall of Fame class.
The finalists heading into the night included legendary Vikings pass rusher Jared Allen, who had been nominated for the fourth consecutive year, along with a multitude of worthy players, including CB Eric Allen, OT Willie Anderson, G Jahri Evans, DE Dwight Freeney, TE Antonio Gates, S Rodney Harrison, WR/KR/PR Devin Hester, WR Torry Holt, WR Andre Johnson, DE Julius Peppers, RB Fred Taylor, WR Reggie Wayne, LB Patrick Willis, and S Darren Woodson.
Unfortunately, Allen did not make the cut once again, and instead, the 2024 Hall of Fame class includes Freeney, Johnson, Randy Gradishar, Willis, Steve McMichael, Hester, and Peppers.
Legendary Vikings Pass Rusher Misses Out on HOF Again
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 result in a year-long suspension from the NFL.
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 offered Allen a six-year, $31 million contract.
The Vikings won the NFC North division in 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 (who was later joined by T.J. Watt at the top of the list in 2021).
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 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.
Obviously, Allen isn’t solely responsible for everything the team accomplished, 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 that Vikings fans held against him at the time, but secretly, they were probably happy to see him go before his career declined.
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.
Perhaps 2025 can finally be the year that Allen gets his gold jacket.
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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.