Trade Jared Allen? We Should Talk About That

A number of weeks ago, Brett and I had a little side discussion about the possibility of the Vikings trading Jared Allen this offseason.  We were even thinking about doing a little back-and-forth feature at the time, as we knew it was inevitable that some other media outlet would bring up this possibility, but we never quite managed to get around to it.

Now that I am back from a long work week, however, I took some time to review all the comments from the last few days and one jumped out to me.

In the comment, a reader says that he heard on a local radio station that a rumor is making the rounds that the Vikings are possibly (could be, maybe, potentially, maybe) considering entertaining offers for their stud right end.

Earlier this offseason, Rick Spielman went out of his way to say that Adrian Peterson was the only player that was off the table in terms of an early departure, which makes sense considering the blockbuster deal they just signed him to.  He easily could have included Jared Allen in that statement, but didn’t.

So, it makes sense that the Vikings won’t trade Peterson, but would an Allen trade make sense?

First, let’s take a look at some possible reasons to consider it an option:

1.  Allen just turned 30 two weeks ago, which is not an exact fit when considering Spielman’s apparent plan to build around the development of youthful players.

2.  He only has two years left on his contract.  Those that have reasonable expectations for this team turning things around would suggest his contract would be complete before the Vikings found themselves in serious playoff contention.

3.  The team is already heavily armed with significant cap space and 10 Draft picks.  Still, the picks gained from an Allen trade could be key pieces in the rebuild, as well.  Not mention Allen is due to make $11.6 million this year and $14.2 million in 2013, and a trade could produce significant cap space and the ability to sign young, promising players.

4.  Allen has made it clear that he does not intend to play in a 3-4 defense, and it is possible that the Vikings will look to make that transition in the relatively near future.

5.  Following a year in which Allen received votes for defensive player of the year, his trade value may never again be as high as it is right now.  They have a window to collect a treasure chest full of draft picks, but it isn’t clear how long that window might stay open.

Okay, so that pretty much lays out the reasons that a trade could (possibly, maybe, potentially, maybe) work out in the Vikings favor.

Now, let’s talk about some reasons that the Vikings should not trade Allen.

1.  He’s their best defensive player.  He is productive, and helps make a miserable secondary look less miserable, which is not an easy task.

2.  He is showing no signs of slowing down.  In fact, last season was the best season of his career, and if he continues to improve the Vikings would look mighty foolish for letting him go.  It is conceivable that he has another five years of productivity in him.

3.  He is a fan favorite.  Maybe not all Vikings fans love the Mullet Man, but most enjoy his enthusiasm on the field, charitable efforts off of it, and his general personality.  No player has the ability to get the Metrodome crowd on their feet quite like Allen can.

4.  He definitely seems to have taken on a leadership role on this defense, and his ability to mentor the younger players cannot be dismissed as not having value.

I think the Vikings have reached a point that they can at least entertain the idea of dealing Allen for the five reasons mentioned previously.  However, the four reasons listed for why they should keep him means they should only listen to serious offers that are blockbuster in nature.  I’m talking crazy Draft value.

If that type of offer never comes to fruition, then so be it.  The worst case scenario is that the Vikings keep their best defender for another year, and then reassess the situation in a year.

So, what do you all have to say about this?  Let’s hear it.