Jared Allen, Kevin Williams Among Vikings Nominees for Hall of Fame Class of 2021

Will Ragatz

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced an initial group of 130 modern-era nominees for the HOF Class of 2021 on Wednesday, and several notable former Vikings were included. That includes Jared Allen and Kevin Williams, both of whom are in their first year of eligibility and would appear to have good chances to at least become semifinalists.

Other former Vikings in that crop of 130 are Matt Birk, Randall Cunningham, Herschel Walker, Gary Anderson, and Ryan Longwell.

The group will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in January. Players must receive 80 percent of the vote to be enshrined, which will happen next August. Up to five modern-era players can be voted in each year.

Allen, Williams, and the other aforementioned players are hoping to join the 22 former Vikings currently in the Hall of Fame. That includes Steve Hutchinson, who was inducted last year.

Allen is the one former Viking with a realistic chance to get in this year in a class that also includes Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, and Charles Woodson. He is 12th in NFL history with 136 sacks, 85.5 of which came during his six seasons in Minnesota. His 22 sacks in 2011 is the franchise's single-season record.

“I think my career speaks for itself,” Allen told the Pioneer Press recently. “I think the writing’s on the wall and absolutely I think I competed at a level that’s hall-of-fame caliber. 

“I think my stats are my stats. When I played, no one had more sacks than me. I got a text the other day that I was one of the top five for fastest sacks to 100. Everybody that’s above me or [just] below me on the list is in the hall of fame, so I think the body of work speaks for itself.”

Williams was drafted by the Vikings in the first round in 2003 and racked up 60 sacks during 11 seasons with the team. He's one of the best defensive tackles of the 21st century and could have a shot at the HOF eventually.

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