FRAN TARKENTON

FRAN TARKENTON

Class of 1986
Quarterback >>> 6-0, 190
(Georgia)
1961-66, 1972-78 Minnesota Vikings, 1967-1971 New York Giants

Francis Asbury Tarkenton. . .Almost instant star with four TD passes, first game, 1961. . .Moved to New York (1967), back to Vikings (1972) in stunning trades. . .At retirement led lifetime passers in attempts (6,467), completions (3,686), yards (47,003), touchdowns (342). . .Exciting, elusive scrambler. . . Rushed for 3,674 yards, 32 TDs. . .Led Vikings to three Super Bowls. . .Two-time All-NFL. . .Pro Bowl selection nine times. . . Born February 3, 1940, in Richmond, Virginia.

Fran Tarkenton's career as a National Football League quarterback started with the fledgling Minnesota Vikings in 1961, took him to the New York Giants in 1967, and then back to the Vikings in 1972.

In Minnesota's first game ever, the rookie from Georgia came off the bench to fire four touchdown passes and run for a fifth in a big upset of the Chicago Bears. For the next 18 seasons, the 6-0, 190-pound field leader never let up in his relentless quest of yardage and touchdowns.

At the time of his retirement, Fran owned every significant passing record – 3,686 pass completions, 47,003 passing yards, and 342 touchdowns. But particularly in his early years, Tarkenton attracted widespread attention as an exciting scrambler who took plays from sideline to sideline. Add his 3,674 yards rushing to his stunning passing totals and you have 50,677 yards – almost 29 miles or 500 football fields – of offensive progression. Yet Tarkenton was also a "quality" passer as his 80.4 passing rating that placed him in the upper echelon in that category demonstrates.

Tarkenton was a No. 3 draft pick of the 1961 Vikings. He became the starting quarterback early in his rookie season and continued his outstanding performances for the next six seasons. But in 1967, he was sent to the New York Giants in a trade that netted the Vikings two No. 1 and two No. 2 draft picks over a three-year period.

Five seasons later, Fran came back to Minnesota in another massive swap that cost the Vikings two veterans, a rookie and two high draft picks. In Fran's final seven years with the Vikings (1972-1978), he led Minnesota to six NFC Central Division titles and three Super Bowl appearances. He was named first- or second-team All-NFL three times and selected to play in nine Pro Bowls during his career.

Year
Team
G
Att.
Comp.
Pct.
Yds.
TD
Int.
Rating
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1961 Minnesota
14
280
157
56.1
1997
18
17
74.7
56
308
5.5
5
1962 Minnesota
14
329
163
49.5
2595
22
25
66.9
41
361
8.8
2
1963 Minnesota
14
297
170
57.2
2311
15
15
78
28
162
5.8
1
1964 Minnesota
14
306
171
55.9
2506
22
11
91.8
50
330
6.6
2
1965 Minnesota
14
329
171
52
2609
19
11
83.8
56
356
6.4
1
1966 Minnesota
14
358
192
53.6
2561
17
16
73.8
62
376
6.1
4
1967 New York
14
377
204
54.1
3088
29
19
85.9
44
306
7.0
2
1968 New York
14
337
182
54
2555
21
12
84.6
57
301
5.3
3
1969 New York
14
409
220
53.8
2918
23
8
87.2
37
172
4.6
0
1970 New York
14
389
219
56.3
2777
19
12
82.2
43
236
5.5
2
1971 New York
13
386
226
58.5
2567
11
21
65.4
30
111
3.7
3
1972 Minnesota
14
378
215
56.9
2651
18
13
80.2
27
180
6.7
0
1973 Minnesota
14
274
169
61.7
2113
15
7
93.2
41
202
4.9
1
1974 Minnesota
13
351
199
56.7
2598
17
12
82.1
21
120
5.7
2
1975 Minnesota
14
425
273
64.2
2994
25
13
91.8
16
108
6.8
2
1976 Minnesota
13
412
255
61.9
2961
17
8
89.3
27
45
1.7
1
1977 Minnesota
9
258
155
60.1
1734
9
14
69.2
15
6
0.4
0
1978 Minnesota
16
572
345
60.3
3468
25
32
68.9
24
-6
-0.3
1
Career Total
246
6467
3686
57
47003
342
266
80.4
675
3674
5.4
32
Additional Career Statistics: Receiving: -12 Yds.

Full Name: Francis Asbury Tarkenton

Birthdate: February 3, 1940

Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia

High School: Athens (GA)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 25, 1986

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 2, 1986

Presenter: Max Winter, Minnesota Vikings President

Other Members of Class of 1986: Paul Hornung, Ken Houston, Willie Lanier, Doak Walker

Pro Career: 18 Seasons, 246 games

Drafted: 3rd round (29th player overall) in 1961 NFL Draft by Minnesota Vikings. Also selected in 5th round of 1961 AFL Draft by Boston Patriots.

Transactions: March 8, 1967 – Tarkenton traded by Minnesota Vikings to New York Giants in exchange for four draft picks 1st round, 1967 (Clint Jones, HB, Michigan State, 2nd overall); 2nd round, 1967 (Bob Grim, HB, Oregon State, 28th overall); 1st round, 1968 (Ron Yary, T, Southern California, 1st overall); and player to be named which turned into 2nd round, 1969 (Ed White, G, California, 39th overall).  |  January 27, 1972 – Tarkenton traded by New York Giants to Minnesota Vikings in exchange for QB Norm Snead, WR Bob Grim, RB Vince Clements, and two draft picks – 1st round, 1972 (Larry Jacobson, DE, Nebraska, 24th overall) and 2nd round, 1973 (Brad Van Pelt, LB, Michigan State, 40th overall).

Uniform Number: 10
 

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