Cards: Score 1990, Action Packed 1990, Topps 1990 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o The University of Wisconsin Sent: 2/4 Received: 2/14 (10 days) See Also: John Settle
John still has it after all these years. He signed these cards in only 10 days care of Wisconsin. Much to my chagrin he did sign the autograph box on the back of the Action Packed card, but still these were very nice to add to my collection and probably wrap up any card of his that he had over the years.
After coaching for the Panthers from 2011 to 2012, John served one season with the Cleveland Browns in 2013. He returned to the college ranks and picked up a year with the University of Pittsburgh, before returning to the University of Wisconsin. John is a fixture as a RB coach since retirement, and has worked wonders tutoring many young backs to the pro ranks.
Jared played college ball for the Idaho State Bengals from 2000 to 2003. It should be noted that Allen experienced exponential growth in almost every statistical field every year he played for the Bengals. In his Senior year of 2003, he started 12 games and posted 102 combined tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks, 9 pass deflections, 6 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries- earning him the Buck Buchanan award for the nation’s best D-I defensive player. Despite Jared’s resume and imposing physique (6’6″, 265), he was not selected until the 4th round of the 2004 draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jared played 4 seasons for the Chiefs and much like his college career, experienced a strong upward curve in his statistical production. In his final season in Kansas City, Jared logged an NFL leading 15.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss, while catching 2 TD passes moonlighting on offense. He was named both to the Pro Bowl and an All-Pro.
Jared was traded by the Chiefs to the Vikings in 2008 in a blockbuster trade. Taking his talents to the NFC North, Jared again notched 2 more AP and Pro Bowl seasons with consecutive 14.5 sack seasons. After a ‘down year’ in 2010, Allen had a career high 22 sacks- missing the NFL sack record by just .5 sacks in the final game. He’d play two more years in Minnesota, and finish with an impressive 85.5 sacks in just 6 years.
Allen moved on to the Bears for 2014, but was moved to an OLB capacity in Chicago’s 3-4 alignment and record 5.5 sacks on the season. Jared was on the move again, traded to the Carolina Panthers 4 games into the season. He’d play in his first Super Bowl as the Panthers fell to the Broncos 24-10.
After the season, Jared retired but holds the NFL records for safeties (4-tied), consecutive games with a sack (11), and times leading the league in sacks (2). He has led a very interesting life post-retirement and has worked in charitable work with the Juvenile Diabetes Program, the NFL-USO tours, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Outside of that he’s an avid outdoorsman and curler, and put together a team of former NFL players to compete at a variety of national curling competitions.
I am so proud to be a part of @theAAF and be able to help change the game forever.
– Jared Allen
In 2018, Jared stunned the football world when he joined Bill Polian, Troy Polamalu, Justin Tuck, and founder Charlie Ebersol on stage to announce the Alliance of American Football. In the well rehearsed but quickly staged news conference Jared and Justin Tuck got up on a stage and sold the product like a tech start up. Forget the XFL. I was in and I was excited for the A-A-F.
Jared was in full throttle too, as both an investor and also in player relations. Oddly though, this was the most we saw of Jared for the remainder of the AAF’s short duration. He continued to strongly trumpet the league on social media, but as 2019 rolled around, this came to an abrupt stop.
In April of 2019, after hemorrhaging cash for most of its duration the AAF ended after just 8 games, as chief investor Tom Dundon pulled out his remaining investment.
Considering Jared’s through the mail track record, I was shocked to get this one back, little less in 12 days. I’d like to believe that the content of the letter matters and that players do read them.
Jared has a lot of great looking cards. It was very hard to trim it down to even 3 to send him, however I chose these 3 from his time as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. For once I was sort of underwhelmed by a Score 2009 entry, purely because it’s Jared celebrating after a sack. His hands both annoyingly go into the margin of the design and make the photo placement look careless. I really like the look of both the Upper Deck and the Adrenalyn cards while the Adrenalyn has a nice reflecting shine to it.
Card: Topps AAF 2019 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o The Philadelphia Eagles Sent: 4/10 Received: 7/26 (107 days)
Charles Johnson was the big bodied playmaker in Steve Spurrier’s Sun N Gun offense at Wide Receiver. Over 8 games, he caught 45 passes (70 targets) primarily from Garrett Gilbert, for 687 yards, 5 TDs and a 2 point conversion. His 687 yards and 70 targets were a league mark. Charles best game came against the San Antonio Commanders in Week 2, as he set AAF records with 10 catches for 192 yards and a TD.
“He’s done a fantastic job since he’s been here. He got himself acclimated to the system, and he and I have great rapport.”
– Apollos QB Garrett Gilbert
Charles Johnson’s football story starts at Antelope Valley Community College back in 2008. He caught 24 passes for 231 yards and 3 TDs, and then at Eastern Kentucky catching 3 passes for 63 yards. He transferred to Grand Valley and reshirted for a year. Returning to the gridiron in 2011 he blew the doors off of the college recording 56 receptions for 1030 yards and 15 TDs. Johnson followed that season up with an equally impressive Senior campaign with 72 receptions for 1,199 yards and 16 TDs.
Although he was not invited to the NFL combine in 2013, and hailing from a small school, Charles turned heads with his 4.39 40 on his school’s Pro Day. He parlayed his efforts to sneak onto draft boards as a 7th round pick of the Green Bay Packers. Earning a spot on the team’s practice squad, Charles was signed away by the WR needy Browns, where he spent 2013 and 2014.
He then spent the next 3 seasons with the Vikings from 2014-2016. It was with the Vikes Johnson saw the most success, cobbling together 31 catches for 475 yards and 2 TDs during 2014. Hampered by injuries and inconsistency, Johnson struggled through 2015 and 2016.
Charles signed with the Panthers in 2017, but did not make the squad. The following year in 2018 he joined the Jets, but was cut mid-year and elected to join the AAF.
After the disappointing end to the league, Charles signed within the first few days of the AAF free agent frenzy. When I saw his name popped up on the transaction boards for the Eagles, I didn’t hesitate for a second and sent out to him the following week.
As one of the older players in the AAF, Charles was of interest to many scouts in the NFL and there was a lot of chatter always surrounding what a great story he was for the league, and how just getting back to basics had really helped him fall back in love with the game. I got his autograph on his lone AAF card, and although they did come out with a Topps NOW card of him- I thought that Topps really missed out on the certified autograph boat with him.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.