Former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen’s induction into football immortality isn’t the only thing the 39-year-old is waiting on.
A finalist for the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame class that will be announced February 10, Allen threw his proverbial Stetson into the ring for the Vikings’ head coaching gig, commenting on a post on the Vikings’ Instagram: “Still awaiting my interview. Y’all have my contact info. #vikesforlife #skol.”
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Allen’s Coaching Prospects
Without any NFL head coaching experience, Allen’s an unlikely fit to be an NFL head coach just yet. In fact, the only coaching experience has been as a fill-in for his daughter’s youth soccer coach — one of the many hats he wears since his 2017 retirement.
However, Allen’s infectious personality and reputation as a motivator could be a welcome addition to a Vikings organization that is undergoing significant changes and could use a jolt from someone with a storied purple and gold pedigree.
Allen played in 11 seasons in the NFL, including 2008 to 2013 with Minnesota. He made four of his five Pro Bowls and earned three of his four All-Pro mentions the Vikings. In 2011, Allen totaled 22 sacks — the second-highest single-season sack total in NFL history behind only New York Giants Hall of Famer Michael Strahan’s 22.5 sacks in 2001.
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Allen is 12th all-time in the with 136 sacks, 85.5 of which came during his tenure in Minnesota. He ranks sixth in Vikings history behind Carl Eller (130 with Vikings, 200 total), Jim Marshall (127 total), John Randle (114 with Vikings, 137.5 total), Alan Page (108.5 with Vikings, 173 total) and Chris Doleman (96.5 with Vikings, 150.5 total).
Allen was a finalist for the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2021 but did not make it as a first-ballot inductee.
Carl Eller vouched for Allen’s Hall of Fame bid last year and called him a “great motivator for the team.”
“It’d be a great honor, and I’d love to see him get in,” Eller said, per the Pioneer Press. “He had all the tools that he needed and he was a great motivator for the team. He’s facing some tough competition but certainly, I think he deserves to be in there.’’
Jared Allen Talks Family Life, Retirement & Philanthropy
Allen’s retirement announcement couldn’t have been more fitting, posting on Twitter of himself riding on a horse into the frozen tundra of Iowa.
Allen has kept busy since retirement with several pursuits. He’s a husband, a father and at one point was competing to represent Team USA as an Olympic curler.
“My philosophy in life is to always try to be present, be where you’re at, and enjoy that time,” Allen recently told Heavy. “And, you know, football was a great run, but I think I always knew that it was a means to an end. I’ve always reminded myself of that even if I were to play 15-20, some odd years. I mean, it’s such a small stint in your overall lifespan.”
He also remains heavily involved with Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, an organization that provides handicapped-accessible housing for wounded military veterans that he started in partnership with the Vikings.
“It never gets old to give someone a brand new home free and clear, who protects our freedom,” Allen said. “And I think that the thing people don’t realize is none of this stuff comes free. You know what I mean? There’s a sacrifice, there’s a cost for everything in life. And as someone who has fully benefited from this country and has fully benefited from the sacrifice of others, I feel like it’s my obligation and my duty as a fellow countryman and a patriot of this great nation to give back to those who provide that for me.”
Read more on Allen’s philanthropic efforts in an exclusive Heavy interview here.