Former Packers and, yes, Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is one of three first-year eligible nominees in the list of 15 modern-era finalists that will be considered by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selection, the Hall announced Thursday night.
“He’ll be the first Hall of Famer I’ve played with,” said Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who, like the rest of the world, has assumed first-ballot entry for the record-busting ironman quarterback who played 20 seasons and won three NFL MVP awards and a Super Bowl.
Joining Favre as first-year eligible modern-era finalists are receiver Terrell Owens and offensive lineman Alan Faneca.
Other finalists with ties to the Vikings are kicker Morten Andersen, the league’s career scoring leader, whose 25-year career included one year as a Viking (2004); and Tony Dungy, the former Gophers quarterback who later served as Vikings defensive coordinator before becoming the first African American coach to win a Super Bowl. Both are finalists for the third time.
Other modern era finalists are: safeties Steve Atwater and John Lynch; coach Don Coryell; running backs Terrell Davis and Edgerrin James; linebacker Kevin Greene; receiver Marvin Harrison; offensive tackles Joe Jacoby and Orlando Pace; and quarterback Kurt Warner.
Those 15 join three other finalists to under consideration for the class of 2016. The selection committee will meet on Feb. 6 in San Francisco, the site of Super Bowl 50.
The senior committee finalists are quarterback Ken Stabler and guard Dick Stanfel. The contributor finalist is former 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.
For Peterson, the memories of playing with the legendary quarterback for two seasons still bring a smile to his face.
“My favorite moment probably was his first time going back to Lambeau and we beat them over there,” Peterson said. “I knew how much it meant to him. Just the way we were able to go there and pound on them. It was a special game to be a part of it.”
Peterson also picked as a favorite memory the 32-yard touchdown pass that Favre threw to Greg Lewis in the very back of the end zone to beat the 49ers at the Metrodome with two seconds left during the 2009 season.
“I was on the sideline watching Brett drop back and just heave the ball,” Peterson said. “And it was perfect. And Greg made the perfect catch. It was one of the most amazing plays I’ve ever seen in person.”