Jared Allen’s trophy case got a little fuller Wednesday. After posting one of the most impressive individual seasons in the history of the NFL for defensive ends, Allen was rewarded by being named Defensive Player of the Year by The Sporting News.
Allen has been one of the dominant defensive ends of his era, but bringing home an accolade like Defensive Player of the Year had never happened for him until now. In fact, it almost didn’t happen this year. Despite finishing just a half-sack short of Michael Strahan’s all-time single-season record of 22½ sacks, he won the honor by just two votes – beating out DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys by a count of 113 to 111.
It’s never easy to bring home an individual honor when the team doesn’t succeed. One need look no further than how many Vikings were selected to the Pro Bowl when they were riding high in 2009 and how many were voted into the Pro Bowl this year (answer: one. Allen. Chad Greenway is also going as an alternate.). To win awards, more times than not, you have to be on a team that was competing for a Super Bowl title. Allen and the Vikings clearly were not, which makes his achievement all the more astounding.
The Vikings signed linebacker Solomon Elimimian to a two-year deal, according to 1500 ESPN. Elimimian, who played for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League the last two seasons, went undrafted out of the University of Hawaii in 2009. He was named CFL Rookie of the Year in 2010 and was the CFL equivalent to a Pro Bowl selection last season, helping the Lions with the Grey Cup.
The signing of Elimimian marks the third time in four years that the Vikings have gone to Canada to find talent. Following the 2008 season the Vikings signed linebacker/special teams ace Kenny Onatolu and last year signed wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux.
In the ever-growing world of the NFL, it was announced that 20 current and former NFL players will take part in the NFL Business of Music Boot Camp, a merging of the NFL and the Clive Davis Institute at New York University. The program is designed to assist players in post-NFL career aspirations – in this case, becoming music entrepreneurs. Among those scheduled to attend are Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and former Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie. Kluwe plays guitar in the Twin Cities band Tripping Icarus and McKinnie has long had an interest in producing music.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.