To everyone that's coming to the site looking for the latest Jared Allen trade rumors. . .well, just like a lot of you, I've been frantically refreshing Access Vikings every few minutes for the last few hours now, so I know just about as much as you do about the matter.
Apparently Allen is still at Winter Park, and the deal is either not even close or on the cusp of completion, depending on your source (the NFL Network being the source of the former, Pro Football Talk being the source of the latter).
Of course. . .there are nay-sayers out there.
Nay-sayers will point out that he's one DUI away from a one-year NFL suspension. Yes, the Vikings got burned by the last guy they took that kind of gamble on. But to be honest, I never heard anything like this from Koren Robinson when he was in Minnesota:
Obviously, part of the offseason had to be spent taking care of the fallout from the trouble I got myself into last year. And I did. You just have to pay the piper, man. I got my suspension reduced by two games, which was just awesome, you know, that we got the appeal to work for us. It was kind of nice, just as a reward for myself, for my own personal view, it was nice for me to just catch a break on this stuff. I put myself in those situations, but, you know, to finally get a reward for the right things I've been doing - it's not like that was what I was looking for, but it's nice to get a little pat on the back for your changes. Like making the right decisions hasn't gone unnoticed.
Life's been great, though - I haven't had a drink in over 10 months. Just living right and having fun, you know. I still go out and stuff. Enjoying life, working out, eating healthy, and trying to stay as fit as possible. Just excited for the season to come up.
Allen, it appears, truly gets it. That article is dated August '07, which means the guy has been sober since October of '06. . .and, assuming that the facts of said article still hold true, he'll be two years sober by the time training camp comes around. The guy is on the verge of signing a deal that could, potentially, make him the highest-paid defensive player in the history of the National Football League, and allow him to line up with the undisputed best pair of defensive tackles in the league today.
Will he screw up again? Not bloody likely. Even if he does. . .if you think the Vikings aren't going to include a clause in the contract to protect themselves from such a thing, you obviously haven't been paying attention.
I've also gotten a few nice e-mails comparing this to the Herschel Walker trade. . .mostly from mouth-breathers from the other side of the Minnesota/Wisconsin border that realize their team's chance of winning the division this year is slowly approaching "zero."
The Walker trade? Really? The Vikings are on the verge of acquiring one of the top 4-5 defensive ends in the league, and all you've got is the Walker trade? Seriously, shut up. This isn't 11-for-1. It's two draft picks. Idiots.
I didn't mention this earlier in the off-season because I didn't think it was feasible that the Vikings. . .OUR Minnesota Vikings. . .would attempt to make such a bold move. This is the kind of thing that we watch other teams do and say to ourselves, "Damn, why doesn't OUR team do something like that?" I mean, we've talked about Jason Taylor and Julius Peppers, both of whom would also have to be acquired via trade, but nothing about Allen.
The differences between acquiring Allen and acquiring either Peppers or Taylor are these.
-The age factor. Jason Taylor is 34 years old. Peppers is 28. Jared Allen just turned 26.
-The production factor. All of these players have been productive, yes. But here are their numbers for the last four seasons (the time that Allen has been in the NFL):
Taylor - 257 total tackles, 46 sacks, 30 passes defended, 4 INT
Peppers - 209 total tackles, 37 sacks, 24 passes defended, 3 INT
Allen - 227 total tackles, 43 sacks, 25 passes defended, 1 INT
Allen has also never had fewer than 7.5 sacks in a season, and he's produced those kinds of numbers on a defensive line that, honestly, didn't have a hell of a lot else to offer. Yes, Taylor has been slightly more productive than Allen has. . .but, again, he's also 8 years older. Nobody knows how much longer Taylor will be able to continue his level of play, while Allen should just be coming into the prime of his career.
Seriously, folks. . .bringing Jared Allen in would give us the best defensive line this team has seen since the days of Doleman-Millard-Thomas-Noga. That line was part of a defense that put up 71 sacks in 1989. The parallels are there, too. . .Allen fits nicely into the Doleman mold, and might even be a little better in run defense. The Irresistable Force (Kevin Williams, if you've forgotten) is Keith Millard without the "my arms are bigger than your guns" level of crazy. The Immovable Object slots into the Henry Thomas spot, and. . .well, some combination of Ray Edwards, Brian Robison, and Erasmus James (for the five minutes he's healthy) can play the role of Al Noga.
Do I expect 71 sacks for the Vikings if this trade goes down? No, because that kind of expectation would be insane. But I DO expect a lot of scared quarterbacks. I DO expect a lot of hurried and forced throws. And I DO expect a defense that makes the leap from "average" to the upper eschelon of defenses in the NFL.
Keep it tuned here, folks. . .if we find anything new on the Allen situation, we'll have it right here as soon as it hits our ears. Keep enjoying your Friday, everybody!
Update [2008-4-18 20:28:3 by Gonzo]:
And by "anything new," this qualifies. . .this is piggybacked onto the Udeze post that's linked above.
"Decisions like this are very difficult," Wilf said. "Very difficult. There are a lot of different parties. We’re always going to do what’s best for the team and we’re going to weigh all decisions. Especially coming up to the draft."
Possible translation: Giving up high draft picks isn’t an easy thing to do.
Coach Brad Childress said Allen remains in town. "We’re just continuing dialogue," he said. "Talks are ongoing."
Allen has been designated by the Chiefs as their franchise player. He still has the right to negotiate with other teams and is doing just that. While it’s possible he could sign an offer sheet with the Vikings, it’s far more likely that if he lands in Minnesota it will be because the Vikings and Chiefs agreed to a trade and Allen agreed to terms on a long-term contract.
Go, Zygi, go!