Sunday, July 5, 2015

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The details of the Jared Allen deal leaked out not too long ago, and he (along with his agent, Ken Harris of Optimum Sports Management) seems to have structured the deal in a way that’s extremely optimistic about his likelihood of landing a new contract.

In many ways, it’s a “team-friendly” deal. The first two years are fully guaranteed, and he only has a base salary of $3,000,000 in the first year. After that, his base salary drops to $1,000,000 but he has a fully guaranteed roster bonus of $11,500,000. In effect, they’ll have him for two years at $16,500,000 but bear the brunt of the cap hit in the second year.

Jared really hurt himself with this deal.

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Someone named Jared Allen signed with the Chicago Bears today to a four-year deal, worth $32,000,000. The structure of the deal is of course important with a player at Allen’s age (31), and it can be voided to a three-year, $24,000,000 deal. $15,500,000 is fully guaranteed—which comes from a base salary guaranteed fully in the first two years and a roster bonus he will receive next March.

On a per-year basis, this is a lower deal than the one he “missed out on” with the Denver Broncos when they offered him and DeMarcus Ware identical, $30,000,000 deals over three years, but it is similar amount of guaranteed money.

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**UPDATE: Jared Allen has returned home without signing a deal with the Seahawks and will not sign today. His agent, Ken Harris, has told others that he will “consider Seahawks offer along with the others, and make a decision this weekend,” per Adam Schefter.

He has not yet signed a deal or, evidently, agreed to one.

Jared Allen has agreed to a deal with the Seattle Seahawks, per Ed Werder.

This is technically not final, and his agent (Ken Harris) has told other that Allen is just in “for a visit,” I doubt anything else happens besides him getting signed to a deal.

While I’m happy for Allen to get a deal he thinks he deserves (he would have been happy retiring if he didn’t get “what he was worth”) and get a real shot at a ring, it is a little upsetting to see Allen sign with the great thieves of the West, the Seattle Seahawks.

Jared Allen’s contract situation isn’t keeping him awake at night, and neither are any lingering injuries, and he says he is now getting the best sleep he’s had in years.  This is important because Allen is the only Viking that has yet to make an appearance at the OTA practices that took place this week.

“I’m excited to be playing ball and especially I’m excited to be healthy this year. That’s the biggest thing,” he told SiriusXM via Scout.com. “My contract has been so far out of mind because I’m finally able to train this year. My shoulder is back. I didn’t know how rehab was going to be, this being the first surgery I’ve ever had. I’m just excited that my strength is coming back; I’m sleeping again at night. Two years of not sleeping very well, it wears on you.”

Allen spent the week celebrating his anniversary and Leslie Frazier says, according to the Pioneer Press, that Allen will join his teammates after this weekend.

Earlier this offseason, Allen said he would be “out the door” if the Vikings approached him about a pay cut, and so it appears he is perfectly content entering the final year of his contract without any guarantees that extend into 2014 or beyond.

“I’m not hostile. I love the Minnesota Vikings. They got me out of a situation in Kansas City where I was very unhappy and put a lot of faith in me,” Allen said. “The whole point is I don’t worry about my contract, and I don’t. I’ve always been a person that says my play will take care of everything else. ”

“As long as I perform on the football field, you have options in front of you,” he continued. “As far as where I’ll end up, I don’t know. I’m playing this year for this year. I loved being a Viking. I love being a Viking. I want to win a Super Bowl as a Viking.”

Injuries have been cited as a contributor to Allen’s “down year” in 2012, but he still registered 12 sacks and played well enough to not yet be a candidate to be put out to the pasture that Rick Spielman has been sending plenty of veterans to lately.  Considering the young defensive end talent on this team, Allen’s potential contract demands, and the huge dip in value placed on veteran pass rushers this offseason, it is reasonable to wonder if this season will be his last as a Viking.

For now, however, a healthy Jared Allen has plenty of financial motivation to couple with his desire to win a Super Bowl and that is a pretty good formula for short-term success.

Jared Allen is in the final year of the contract he signed in 2008, after being traded from Kansas City to Minnesota, and there are a number of reasons we thought the team might approach him about a contract extension.

First, outside of some recent injury troubles, Allen has shown little in the way of regression and continues to be one of the NFL’s more exciting players to watch on Sundays.  He is still a game changer, and provided one of my favorite moments ever in a Vikings game this last season (crappy video here), and still produces like an elite pass rusher is expected to.  Despite being 31 years old, and having some talented younger options on the roster, Allen is a really good player to simply let become a free agent in 2014.

Second, and most importantly, Allen will earn a $14.28 million salary this season and carries a cap hit of $17 million.  In an offseason where the Vikings were perceived to have more needs than the cap could cover many of us speculated that he would be an obvious option for a reduced cap hit via a contract extension.  “Restructuring” was brought up a lot by some, but the fact is that if a player is in the final year of their contract then a restructuring instead of an extension equates to nothing more than a pay cut.

And it sound like Allen recognizes this.

“You use the word restructure and that to me makes it feel like they’d want me to take a pay cut,” Allen told Dan Wiederer of Access Vikings.  “And if anybody asked me to take a pay cut, I’d be through the first door out of there. So no. We haven’t talked one iota. It is what it is. And we’re going to go about our business and play good ball and try to win a Super Bowl. And like I said the business stuff? We take care of that in the offseason. I have people to do that. That’s why I don’t get into it. You’re not going to hear it from me. I won’t complain. I go about my business.”

Allen taking a hard stance on his financial situation should not surprise anyone.  After all, it was that same stubbornness, after being franchised by the Chiefs after his rookie contract expired, that got him traded to Minnesota in the first place.  Allen has played better football in Minnesota than he did with the Chiefs, and has also put his DUI problems deep into the past, so it is no wonder that he doesn’t consider his value to be decreasing from the day he signed that $73 million contract.

Barring a disaster of some sort in 2013, it seems unlikely that the Vikings would simply let Allen leave next offseason, as he is a team leader that helps recruit free agents (such as Greg Jennings) to join his team’s crusade for a Super Bowl victory.  The fact that the Vikings haven’t even approached him about his contract status, however, doesn’t give me any warm and fuzzies in regards to Allen finishing his career in purple.

The lack of warm and fuzzies might be exactly what the Vikings want, though, as it’ll be just that much more motivation for Allen to give 110% to this upcoming season.

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