Ahead of the 2013 preseason opener Friday night against the Houston Texans, the Minnesota Vikings announced that former safety Joey Browner will be inducted into their Ring of Honor at halftime of the Oct. 27 night game against the rival Green Bay Packers. He will be the 21st person in Vikings’ history to have the honor bestowed upon him.
Browner was selected in the first round (19th overall) out of USC by the Vikings in the 1983 NFL Draft, and he spent the first nine seasons of his career in Minnesota before finishing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1992.
Browner was elected to six straight Pro Bowls from 1985 to 1990, and his 37 interceptions (including six straight seasons with at least four from 1986-1991) rank fourth in franchise history. Browner also ranks fifth in franchise history in total tackles (1,098 combined-987 defensive, 111 on special teams), along with 9.5 sacks and 18 forced fumbles that are the most in franchise history for a defensive back in both categories.
Browner was named first team All-NFL by a variety of media outlets multiple times during his career. He was also named to the league’s All-Decade Team for the 1980’s and one of the 50 greatest Vikings.
Browner brought an aggressive physical presence to a Vikings’ defense that was one of the league’s best for a stretch during the late 80’s and early 90’s. But the accomplishments of college teammate Ronnie Lott, including multiple Super Bowl rings, often leave Browner overshadowed when we look back on his career today.
I don’t necessarily see Browner ever being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his place among the greatest players in Vikings’ history will only be further cemented by his induction into the Ring of Honor.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.