On Thursday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its list of 15 modern-day semifinalists for their Class of 2022, and there’s one name on it that should be very familiar to Minnesota Vikings fans.
Defensive end Jared Allen has made the shortlist for the second year in a row. This is his second year of eligibility and he made the list of semifinalists for the 2021 class as well, but could not garner the necessary support for enshrinement.
Allen came to the Vikings before the 2008 season, when the Vikings traded a first-round pick and a pair of third-round picks to the Kansas City Chiefs to acquire his services. Allen played six seasons for the Vikings, starting in every game he was on the roster for. He accumulated 85.5 sacks in his six seasons in Minnesota, including nearly breaking the single-season record in 2011 when he collected 22.
One thing that could work in Allen’s favor this season is that there aren’t any real locks in this year’s class, from all appearances. While last year’s class had names like Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson that were considered shoo-ins, there are no such names in this year’s class.
Here are the fourteen players that have joined Allen on the list of semifinalists for this year. Players with a * are on the ballot for the first time.
- OT Willie Anderson
- CB Ronde Barber
- OT Tony Boselli
- S Leroy Butler
- WR/KR/PR Devin Hester*
- WR Torry Holt
- WR Andre Johnson*
- LB Sam Mills
- DL Richard Seymour
- LB Zach Thomas
- WR Reggie Wayne
- DE/OLB DeMarcus Ware*
- LB Patrick Willis
- DT Bryant Young
Honestly, I think Allen has a pretty good shot at getting in this time around. I am biased, I’ll admit that, but there’s nobody on that list that I look at and say, “Yeah, that guy definitely deserves to get in ahead of Jared Allen.”
The players that are selected for enshrinement will find out during Super Bowl week.
Here’s hoping that Jared Allen will be among those that hear his name called to join football immortality in Canton as part of the Class of 2022.