Sunday, August 2, 2015

jared allen

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.

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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.

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