10 longest playing careers in Minnesota Vikings history

Jim Marshall
Jim Marshall / Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have a long, rich history of football. Starting in 1961, the Vikings built on the sport's history in the area by taking over where the Minneapolis Marines and Red Jackets left off in 1930.

Since the Vikings' inception, many excellent players have found their way into a purple and gold jersey. However, not every player has enjoyed a long and fruitful career for Minnesota like some of the team's legends.

Quite a few of the longest tenured players for the team have gone on to find a place in Canton, Ohio. In fact, six of the ten players who played in the most games for the Vikings are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

10 longest playing careers in Minnesota Vikings history

Let's take a look at the ten players who played the most games for the Vikings in their careers and how many of the franchise's contests they participated in.

10. TIE - Cris Carter, wide receiver and Tim Irwin, offensive tackle- 188 games

It's easy to forget that Cris Carter had such a long career for the Vikings since he spent four seasons in Philadelphia and Miami. 12 seasons that saw him catch 110 touchdowns is more than enough to qualify him as a legend in Minnesota.

Carter tied with Tim Irwin on this list. A third-round pick in the 1981 NFL Draft, the Tennessee blocker played 13 seasons for the Vikings while starting 181 games on the offensive line. He went on to earn a law degree and be admitted to the Tennessee Bar following his football career.

9. Randall McDaniel, guard - 190 games

It doesn't get much better than 12 Pro Bowls, seven total All-Pro nods, induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and revolutionizing your position. An athletic guard who spent 12 seasons with the Vikings, Randall McDaniel was well worth Minnesota's first round draft pick in 1988.

8. Roy Winston, linebacker - 191 games

Roy Winston doesn't have the name recognition of some of the other players on this list, but there is something to be said for spending 15 seasons with the same team and locking down an important role in a defense that went to four Super Bowls.

7, Grady Alderman, offensive tackle - 193 games

Despite being a tenth-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 1960, Minnesota took Grady Alderman with the first pick in the 1961 expansion draft and was known as the last of the original Vikings. He was named to six Pro Bowls was part of two All-Pro selections and was the general manager of the Denver Broncos for one season.

6. Ron Yary, offensive tackle - 199 games

When the Minnesota Vikings had the first overall pick in the 1968 NFL Draft, they selected Ron Yary. Seven total All-Pro selections and seven Pro Bowl nods in 14 seasons is impressive, but so is helping the team reach four Super Bowls and win an NFL Championship in 1969.

5. Scott Studwell, linebacker - 201 games

When talking about the best linebackers in Vikings history, Scott Studwell is an individual whose name must be mentioned. He spent 14 seasons as a player for Minnesota, starting 150 games and being named to the Pro Bowl twice.

4. Carl Eller, defensive end - 209 games

The Purple People Eaters are legendary. Carl Eller was a big part of the Vikings' defensive unit. Selected at No. 6 overall in the 1964 NFL Draft, Eller was named to eight Pro Bowls, seven total All-Pro units, and landed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

3. Fred Cox, kicker - 210 games

One of the most interesting players to suit up for the Vikings, kicker Fred Cox is Minnesota's all-time scoring leader and it isn't even close. Also a chiropractor, Cox is noted as being the inventor of a soft football that would become known as the Parker Brothers' Nerf football.

2. Mick Tingelhoff, center - 240 games

A lot can be said about toughness and reliability at the center position in football. Mick Tingelhoff was an undrafted free agent in 1962 who played 17 seasons with the Vikings and earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

1. Jim Marshall, defensive end - 270 games

Jim Marshall was an iron man. A fourth-round pick of the Browns in 1960, the former Ohio State edge rusher was traded after one season to become a member of the legendary Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters defense. 19 seasons in a purple and gold jersey have made him a legend with the franchise, retiring his No. 70 jersey.

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