At the owners meetings in Arizona, Minnesota Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf appeared Tuesday on the PFT Live broadcast and touched on a couple of topics relating to two former Vikings – Jim Marshall and Adrian Peterson – looking to correct the legacy of one and acknowledging the legacy of the other.
Host Mike Florio discussed the Vikings legends of the past and the lore surrounding the franchise and Wilf said one of the goals of the organization is to get Vikings greats into the Hall of Fame.
Despite being second on the list of all-time consecutive games started in the NFL at 270 – trailing only Brett Favre – Marshall has been overlooked by Hall of Fame voters, which is an omission Wilf wants to see rectified.
“One of the oversights we want to correct is Jim Marshall,” Wilf said. “He’s someone who most people just assume is in the Hall of Fame. He’s not in the Hall of the Fame. That’s something we’re going to working hard this year and in the coming years to correct.”
Wilf stressed the body of work and the role Marshall played with the organization as the NFL’s ironman, which remains a benchmark never approached with 55 more games than anyone else, including Vikings Hall of Famer Alan Page.
“He was really a key leader and part of those great Vikings teams in the ’60s and ’70s,” Wilf said of Marshall. “That legacy should be recognized.”
But, when the topic turned to Adrian Peterson, Wilf was quick to acknowledge his indelible mark on the franchise, despite their recent breakup.
Asked about the difficulty of moving on from a franchise player like Peterson, Wilf explained that, while the end of their association was a business decision, the role Peterson has performed for the franchise is one that won’t soon be forgotten.
“It’s a process and it’s a difficult one,” Wilf said. “It’s part of the NFL We have tremendous admiration for Adrian Peterson. He’s been a part of our organization for the past 10 years. He’s given us great thrills for our fans and for our organization. He’s one of the greatest Vikings of all time. We have great respect for him as a person and as a football player. We know he has a lot of gas in the tank. It is a difficult transition, but, like I said, he’s a part of the Vikings family.”
In the end, both Marshall and Peterson will have their place in Minnesota folklore and, most likely, their place in Canton, bringing fitting ends to both of their storied careers.