During his first training camp with the Vikings in 1982 as a seventh-round tight end out of Brown, Steve Jordan found himself lined up against linebacker Matt Blair in a pass rushing drill.
“I got in a three-point stance, and my next memory was, I was looking up at the sky,” he said. “Matt ran over me, ran through me, like a revolving door — welcome to the NFL. I knew I had a lot that I needed to make up.”
Jordan contributed enough on special teams to carve out a role on the Vikings’ roster that season, and continued mostly in that role for two season before becoming the team’s starting tight end in 1984. By the time he retired in 1994, he’d caught more passes than any player in franchise history.
“Things start to click a little bit, and you start to realize, ‘I think I can do this. I think I belong here,’” the 58-year-old Jordan said Wednesday. “Based on some really great coaching, some really good teammates, I was able to make my way through the league.”
This fall, Jordan’s unlikely run will culminate with his addition to the Vikings’ Ring of Honor. The team announced on Wednesday morning that Jordan will be the 25th member of the class, to be inducted at halftime of the team’s game against Washington on Oct. 24. Jordan was announced a day after his son, Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, signed a three-year, $52.5 million extension in New Orleans.
Jordan played all 13 NFL seasons for the Vikings after he was a seventh-round pick out of Brown in 1982.
Jordan is the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions (498) and receiving yards (6,307) by a tight end. A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Jordan trails only Hall of Fame receivers Randy Moss and Cris Carter on the Vikings’ all-time receptions list. At the time of his retirement in 1994, only Ozzie Newsome and Kellen Winslow had caught more passes as an NFL TE than Jordan’s 498.
“I am rich, in terms of, my family is relatively healthy. I’ve got seven grandkids,” said Jordan. “It’s been a great life.”
The Vikings Ring of Honor members are Fran Tarkenton, Alan Page, Jim Finks, Bud Grant, Paul Krause, Fred Zamberletti, Jim Marshall, Ron Yary, Korey Stringer, Mick Tingelhoff, Carl Eller, Cris Carter, Bill Brown, Jerry Burns, Randall McDaniel, Chuck Foreman, John Randle, Scott Studwell, Chris Doleman, Matt Blair, Joey Browner, Ahmad Rashad, Randy Moss and Dennis Green.
Cousins ‘thrilled’ about Rudolph extension
A day after Kyle Rudolph agreed to a four-year, $36 million deal — which keeps the tight end under contract through 2023 and delivers $4.175 million of salary cap relief to the Vikings in 2019 — the tight end’s quarterback was quick to voice his approval of the move.
“Rookies come in, and they’re going to look to the players who are accomplished and say, ‘How does that guy conduct himself? Because that’s where I want to go with my career,’” quarterback Kirk Cousins said Wednesday. “If they’re looking at Kyle Rudolph, that’s a really good thing for our team. He caught a pass crossing the field today that’s not an easy catch — it’s low, he reaches out, extends his hands and he snags it. That’s one of his elite traits, and something he does really naturally. Hopefully we get a lot of that from him this year.”
Vikings missing receivers on Day 2 of minicamp
While the Vikings remained without tight ends Irv Smith, Tyler Conklin and David Morgan for the second day of their minicamp on Wednesday, they also saw their wide receiver depth thinned because of injury.
Jeff Badet and Jordan Taylor missed practice on Wednesday (as did Brandon Zylstra, who left with an injury on Tuesday).
The Vikings also remained without linebacker Reshard Cliett and defensive end Tashawn Bower.