Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "jared allen"

jared allen

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A surprisingly successful 2012 season for the Minnesota Vikings was continuously explained, by both players and coaches, to have been in the works since offseason activities began and the very good attendance they experienced.

This year, the Vikings are getting off to a similar start, as every player was present for the kickoff of OTAs with only one exception.

Jared Allen reportedly was a no-show.  Allen has rarely participated in OTAs in the past and, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN, had a family obligation.  He, of course, is also still in the rehab process for his offseason shoulder injury and is entering the final year of his current contract.

There was no real news resulting from Day One, but the media also didn’t have any access on Tuesday.  That should change tomorrow and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on any developments coming out of OTAs.

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.

The Vikings made three first round selections Thursday night, but they added a fourth in the form of defensive end Lawrence Jackson who was selected by the Seahawks in the first round of the 2008 Draft.  The Seahawks selected tight end John Carlson in the second round of that Draft and he is also on the current roster of the Vikings.

The deal for Jackson is reportedly of the one-year variety and he joins an already crowded depth chart that also saw rookie Sharrif Floyd added to it on Thursday night.  The hope is that this move is an attempt to have a top-notch rotation along the line, and not a sign that either Jared Allen or Brian Robison have more serious shoulder injuries than the team has let on.

He has generated 98 tackles, 19.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and two recoveries in his five seasons with the Seahawks and Lions.  As another USC product joining the Vikings, Rick Spielman has continued to display an affinity for players coming out of that program.

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The Vikings are preparing to make two first round selections next week, but they are also taking a look at adding a guy that once was selected 28th overall by the Seattle Seahawks.

Free agent defensive end Lawrence Jackson was reportedly scheduled to meet with the Vikings today.  Jackson was a standout at USC before being selected by Seattle in 2008.  He played with the Lions over the last three seasons and has never quite lived up to his draft position.  Over the course of his career Jackson after starting 24 games during his two seasons in Seattle and none with the Lions.

He has only generated 98 tackles, 19.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and two recoveries in his five seasons.  Still, at age 28, he could certainly provide the Vikings with some interesting depth at their most talented position heading into training camp.  Defensive ends Jared Allen, Brian Robison, and Everson Griffen are all due to be free agents following this season.

Signing a guy like Jackson would all but eliminate the need to draft a pass rusher next week.

Today, it was revealed that defensive tackle Kevin Williams was part of a move that seemed obvious to us all months ago, as he restructured his contract with the Vikings which will gain the Vikings about $2.5 million in cap space.

His previous deal had already paid out all guarantees and we’ve known for a long time that Williams was essentially a year-to-year at-will employee, and the Vikings could have cut him at any point this offseason with no cap penalties had they decided to do so.  The Vikings could have done just that to avoid his $7 million salary that he was scheduled to make in both 2013 and 2014.

Instead, Williams was apparently willing to take a paycut in return for some guaranteed money.

His new deal runs through this upcoming season only, and the $4.9 million salary is not only considerable, but is also fully guaranteed.  This pretty much makes it a certainty that he will be a Vikings for one more season, at the least.

Some will consider this move a sign that Williams is in his last year with the Vikings, but I’m not sure it means that.  Williams will be 34 years old next offseason, and the Vikings may simply be able to let the market establish itself for an aging tackle on the decline, and still opt to sign him if he is willing to play for a reasonable salary.  He will potentially join defensive linemen Jared Allen, Brian Robison, and Everson Griffen as free agents next offseason which could mean a significant change to the defensive line is on the horizon.

For now, however, it appears the D-Line is staying mostly intact.

What I don’t understand, and never will, is why it took so long for the Vikings to work out an obviously needed deal with a lifelong Viking.  The move has seemed so obvious for so long.  Even Williams himself brought up the issue about 10 months ago.  This issue of over-cautiousness (or procrastination) on Rick Spielman’s part has really annoyed me this offseason, not only because we saw other teams land more quality players in free agency, but because the same type of mentality led to what I will always consider a black mark in Vikings history.

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