Vikings could get Hall of Fame credentials

The current Vikings won't be put repeatedly on the media grinder this week at the Super Bowl, but some former Vikings could be basking in Hall of Fame glory on Saturday.

As Super Bowl week officially begins today, one of the biggest issues for Vikings fans isn't whether a former Vikings legend will be announced as a new member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but how many.

Three longtime Vikings are among the list of finalists – Cris Carter, John Randle and Randall McDaniel – and a case could be made for all three for induction. There was something of a furor among analysts last year that Carter, who ranks second to Jerry Rice in just about every receiving category, was kept out of the Hall while veteran Art Monk finally got in. Because of that backlash from last year, Carter seems like a near lock to be inducted this time around.

McDaniel has been a curious case. He still holds the record for most Pro Bowl starts and was about as dominant a guard as there was during his era. The Hall of Fame typically takes at least one O-lineman per year and some believe McDaniel simply had to wait his turn behind others who had been finalists before. There is a decent possibility that, after having to wait like Carter, McDaniels' time might arrive this time around.

Randle is clearly the longest shot of the three to make it this year, but his inclusion as a finalist in his first year of eligibility is a strong indicator that, even if he doesn't get in immediately, there is a good chance he will be inducted at some point.

Randle was one of just four first-year-eligible players to make the final cut of 15 potential Hall of Fame members – joining DE Bruce Smith, CB Rod Woodson and TE Shannon Sharpe. The initial list of 133 potential inductees was reduced to 25 in November and pared to 15 earlier this month.

The announcement of who is in and who has to wait will be made Saturday. Although the Vikings players and coaches won't be in Tampa to play in the Super Bowl, it seems clear that there will be a Vikings presence as part of the proceedings, as at least one of their former stars gets the call to the Hall.


  • The Saints are rumored to be one of the teams that is willing to make a run at safety Darren Sharper if he isn't re-signed by the Vikings prior to free agency beginning – which is a remote possibility at this point.

  • Due to the way the calendar falls in 2009, most teams won't play their first game of the regular season until Sept. 13 and the Super Bowl won't be played until Feb. 7, 2010.

  • Former Vikings defensive lineman Carl Eller, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was convicted of two gross misdemeanors, driving while impaired and refusing to take a chemical test for alcohol, both charges stemming from an April arrest. Eller originally was charged with fourth-degree assault and making terroristic threats, both felonies, as well, but those charges were dropped. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23.

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