Last week we found out that former Viking Jared Allen is one of 15 finalists for the NFL’s Hall of Fame class in 2024. Is he worthy to go into the Hall and will he make it this year?

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I think he is HOF-worthy but he probably won’t make it this year. Allen is on the list with two other great defensive ends from the same period, and the overall finalist list is pretty heavy with more deserving players.

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Allen played 12 seasons and ranks 12th all-time in career sacks with 136. His sack total is probably what gets him in eventually but his other numbers don’t stand out as much.  Allen’s 648 total tackles don’t even put him in the top 250 all-time. Julius Peppers, who is in the 15 finalists with Allen, had 719 total tackles putting him in a tie for 249th. He also had 159.5 career sacks which is 4th all-time. Peppers had 6 career TDs, and Allen 4 but two of Allen’s came in gimmick offensive plays in Kansas City where he lined up as a TE and scored on receptions (Yes, Jared Allen has two career receptions, both TD catches).

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AFC Wild Card Game: Kansas City Chiefs v Indianapolis Colts
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Conversely, Dwight Freeney, also on the list of 15 finalists, had 332 total tackles and 125.5 sacks, so Allen has better marks there. However, Freeney played on a Super Bowl champion with the Colts, and the committee, fair or not, tends to favor those types of things.

Other than Peppers and Freeney at defensive end, he has to stand out against other finalists like:

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--Reggie Wayne-WR:  10th all-time in total receptions and receiving yards.  He is also one of only 10 players to have over 1,000 receptions and 14,000 yards. Wayne has better numbers than 17 receivers already in the HOF so how can they keep him out another year?

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--Eric Allen-DB: 54 career interceptions, 6-time pro bowler, and returned four picks for TDs in 1993 alone.

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--Antonio Gates-TE: One of the most prolific tight ends in NFL history, he had 116 career TDs.

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--Devin Hester-KR/PR/WR:  Probably the greatest return man in NFL history. His 33 career kick-off and punt returns for TDs may never be broken with the new kickoff rules in place.  KR/PR is not a flashy position like DE or WR but how do you keep a player who had this kind of an impact on the game out?

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--Darren Woodson-DB: Three-time Superbowl champion with Dallas and the Cowboys all-time leader in tackles with 1,350, which ranks 97th all-time in the NFL.

The others on the list of 15 finalists are:

Willie Anderson-OT

Jahri Evans-OL

Rodney Harrison-DB

Torry Holt-WR

Andre Johnson-WR

Fred Taylor-RB

Patrick Willis-LB

So while I think Jared Allen gets into the HOF eventually, I think because of all the other standouts on the 2024 finalists list, he has to wait another year or two.

 

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