A solid case can be made for former Chiefs pass rusher Jared Allen to be one of the legendary players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Every year, some of the greatest (former) players to ever play in the NFL hope to be among those who are selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is a distinction many players have waited their whole life for, and they’ve dedicated years of their lives to be able to put on that gold jacket and walk into Canton.
Only 18 players who have played for the Kansas City Chiefs have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and in 2023, another former defender has hopes to make into this exclusive club: Jared Allen.
Allen, drafted by the Chiefs in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft, is a Pro Football Hall of Fame hopeful (and likely inductee) in 2023. Let’s revisit the accomplished career of Allen and his case for induction.
The Early Years
Allen quickly made his mark in his early years in Kansas City. He amassed 42.5 sacks from 2004-2007 and was a game-wrecker to kick off his career. He finished in the top 10 in the NFL in sacks after his sophomore season and went on to lead the league with 15.5 in 2007.
While his sacks were impressive and helped bolster the team’s defensive ranking, Allen’s all-around ability to get to the ball carrier may have been more impactful, as he finished with the third most tackles on the Chiefs defense in 2007 to go along with a Pro Bowl nod and a 1st Team All-Pro selection.
Chiefs Totals: 227 Tackles, 43 Sacks, 14 Forced Fumbles
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A New Chapter
In 2008, Allen was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in a deal that proved to be beneficial for both teams, but it was in Minnesota where Allen would truly shine.
Allen maintained his stellar play from 2008-2010, with 14.5, 14.5, and 11 sacks respectively in those seasons to go along with 9 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, and a defensive touchdown. He also earned 1st Team All-Pro selections and Pro Bowl honors in 2008 and 2009.
It was 2011, however, that proved to be a banner year for the veteran defensive end. Allen was a one-man wrecking crew for a Minnesota Vikings team that didn’t have much going for it on their way to a 3-13 record. Despite the lack of team success, Allen was must-see television on his way to a 22.0 sack season. A half sack away from the NFL record, Jared Allen is tied for second in NFL history in single-season sack counts with Mark Gastineau and fellow former Chiefs pass rusher Justin Houston. Allen once again earned 1st Team All-Pro nods for his historic 2011 season.
As Allen entered his thirties, he maintained steady production posting 12 and 11.5 sacks in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In the 2013 offseason, Jared Allen entered free agency and signed with the Chicago Bears.
Vikings Totals: 328 tackles, 85.5 Sacks, and 16 Forced Fumbles
The Beginning of the End
In Chicago, Allen’s production would start to decline and he notched only 5.5 sacks in the 2014 season. Allen would be traded 3 games into the 2015 season to the Carolina Panthers where his production continued to decline, finishing the 2015 season with 27 tackles and 2.0 sacks.
Allen would see his greatest postseason success in his final season as a part of the 2015 Carolina Panthers and their run to Super Bowl 50. In the loss, Allen tallied one tackle. During the 2015 offseason, Jared Allen retired from the NFL.
Career In Review
Jared Allen in his prime was one of the most impactful and revered defensive players in the entire NFL. His personality and style followed wherever he went, and he became a fan favorite in each of his stops in the NFL.
While he never enjoyed much success on the teams he played on, Allen enjoyed a successful career statistically. Allen finished his career 12th all-time in sacks, 3rd all-time in tackles by a defensive lineman, and 8th all-time in forced fumbles by a defensive lineman.
As one of the most dominant players at his position in the history of the NFL, not many players enjoyed a peak as high as Jared Allen’s, save for players already in the Hall of Fame. In this writer’s humble opinion, Canton should welcome one of the league’s most enigmatic and productive players with open arms in the 2023 PFHOF class.