It only cost 31 million in guaranteed money, a first round draft pick, and two third round draft picks, but the Minnesota Vikings have traded for Kansas City Defensive End Jared Allen. Specifically it was a 6-year, 74 million dollar deal, and the 17th, 73rd and 82nd picks. Expensive, yes, but the Vikings get a 15 sack a year guy with thirty million reasons to play his tail off. Even when the Chiefs were horrible last season, Jared Allen was a bright spot.
There were a few of us in Jaguars land (myself included) who thought that trading for Allen would be a good idea. With the size of the deal, I'm pretty glad we didn't make him the highest paid player on the team. Though not because he's a risk, I believe it when his Chiefs teammates say he's quit drinking:
"I've seen Jared at a big party, out on the dance floor, where everybody is drinking except one person. It's Jared, and he's having the best time of everybody," said Chiefs fullback Boomer Grigsby
The bigger question, obviously, is how will this effect the draft and the Jaguars.
- Will the Chiefs take a defensive end with either the 5th or 17th pick? They've clearly got a need now for a young pass-rusher, so I would not be terribly surprised if they took Phillip Merling at 17, just like the Vikings would have.
- If the Chiefs draft Vernon Gholston or Chris Long with the 5th pick, will there be an offensive tackle available at 17? Should they take a DE early, there's a chance that Merling falls, but only if there is an OT or OG available for the Chiefs at 17. They need offensive linemen far more than defensive ends, but the possibility that they take both before the Jaguars pick is a problem.
- There are a billion variables effecting the fall of defensive ends. We don't know how the draft will play out. Will the Chiefs get Matt Ryan at 5, forcing their hand at 17 for a tackle? Or perhaps the reverse, an offensive lineman at 5 and Joe Flacco or Brian Brohm at 17
When I first saw this trade I thought it would end up very positive for the Jaguars, but sadly, it's still too close to tell. All it's done is ensure that we'll see another fifty million mock drafts between now and draft day. I'll be the first to admit that I was wrong about signing Allen, I thought his contract would be big, but not THAT big.
What's clear is that the Vikings see a hole in their division, and they want to dive in right now and seize hold of the NFC North. Much like the Browns went crazy in the AFC North. I don't like this approach to winning, simply because you can really burn yourself quite badly if things don't play out as you plan. I'd rather build gradually and seize the day at the right time, instead of spending the future.