It's funny how much can change in two months. If you go back in time to the 15th of February I advocated trading for Defensive End Jared Allen. In those days I was expecting Allen to sign his franchise tender and he'd cost the Jaguars two first round picks to go for him. Yet I still called for it, declaring that the Jaguars were in no-mans-land at the 26th spot and with Allen we would without a doubt pick even higher next year.
It turns out that Allen might not cost two first round picks after all. Allen is visiting with the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in hopes of working a trade. The Chiefs, much to their fans dismay, are entering full on rebuilding mode, overpaying Allen just isn't a smart move for the franchise.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, there seems to be little chance that a trade would occur to bring Allen to Jacksonville. While the price is now less than two first round picks, he would still merit at least a first and a third round pick. For Jacksonville to enter into the sweepstakes, they'd have to make their package more valuable than the Vikings or Bucs, considering that we're almost ten picks behind the purple people eaters and six behind Tampa, it'd mean having to sweeten the deal even further. I don't know if a 1st, 3rd, and 5th would do the trick. Let's say, hypothetically, that the Vikings offer a 1st and 3rd (27th and 82nd picks). That's worth about 1175 points. Jacksonville's first, third, and fifth (using the highest in each round) is only worth 969 points. Even if it's Tampa Bay that we're competing with, their first and third is worth about 1025 points, we'd still be short. The only way we could get close to beating the offers from these teams would be to include our 2nd round pick, which would be absolute draft suicide.
Before you raise your pitchforks and call me a hypocrite for advocating spending two firsts on Allen but not a first and a second, hear me out. My logic on spending our firsts is based on the fact that we're so far back that there's not a huge amount of difference between the late first round talent and the second round talent. We can trade our first and still get a solid starting player out of the second round, particularly if we decide to trade up in the round. Having several third and fifth round picks makes movement very likely. Same would be true next year, if we were without a first round pick. Unfortunately, trading both our first and our second, as it would likely cost to get Jared Allen would probably render most of this draft to a group of development players, not exactly what we need to make a big run. While getting a "sure thing" out of Jared Allen is good, we've still got other needs that a solid second round pick can fill.
However, we should be very excited at the prospect of Minnesota picking up Jared Allen, mainly because that's one less team with a clear need at defensive end off the board. It increases the possibility that Phillip Merling is available for the Jaguars, though it does not guarantee it. It also takes away a talented player from the AFC, not that the Chiefs were any real threat to anyone this year.
There is another way, possibly, to get Jared Allen without having to sell the farm. That would involve trade talks falling apart with the Vikings and Bucs, and the draft coming around to the Jaguars. If there was one of the top offensive linemen still on the board, and the Chiefs were unable to draft one with the 5th overall pick, there could be a bit of leverage there for the Jaguars to make a move.
The odds of that, no matter how good it sounds, are slim to none.
What about Jason Taylor?
I'm glad you asked. If anyone should be upset at this development it's Jason Taylor and Bill Parcells. If Jared Allen is worth any combination of 1st and 3rd round picks, Jason Taylor's cost is falling. Nobody in their right mind would pay nearly as much for a 34 year old defensive end after a 26 year old goes for (possibly) a 1 and a 3.
Or on the flip side, a 2nd round pick by itself sounds pretty reasonable, or maybe a 3rd and two fifths.
I know I should get a little excited at there even being a possibility of Allen being on the market, but I just can't do it. Too many variables, too many outside factors that we can't compete with. It just dosen't feel like the Jaguars can get in on it without costing the farm.
Unless, that is, we play into the rumor that LT Khalif Barnes is on the trade block, that might entice KC a little bit.