Chiefs should move on without Allen

It's not often a disruptive force such as Jared Allen, who led the league in sacks a year ago and is entering the prime of his career, is the subject of so many heated trade talks.

The operative word there is "disruptive." At this point Allen is more disruptive towards his own team than to opposing offenses. Had the Chiefs actually won half their games a year ago this probably wouldn't be an issue. However, even though Allen wreaked havoc in opposing backfields and caught touchdown passes, Kansas City could only muster four wins, the last of which came in October.

Just because Allen wasn't proposing to cheerleaders or performing CPR on the football after scores doesn't make him any different than another disruptive force – Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson. Both are unhappy playing for below-average franchises and are at odds with management. The only difference is what Allen can garner in the form of draft picks.

Great teams build through the draft. Teams that do it through free agency are typically nothing more than good. The Chiefs haven't been great for 39 years. Carl Peterson built a foundation of mediocrity that provided an unparalleled mark of consistency - consistently good, never great.

Trading Allen might present the opportunity to get over that hump.

If the Chiefs don't deal Allen they are still in a position to have a tremendous draft. The question for fans is this: do you really want someone playing for your team who has made it abundantly clear he is unhappy? While he may be a game-changer, was Allen really single-handedly responsible for any of those astronomical four wins a year ago?

Allen's loyalty has been compromised. There is no room for someone like that on a team in rebuilding mode.

With Allen's troubled past, the Chiefs have a no-brainer on their hands - sell high. The simple fact is with repeat DUI offenders, the likelihood they commit a crime again grows exponentially with each subsequent offense.

Does this mean Allen will do so? No, but if he doesn't steer clear, a trade would be the greatest steal since the Herschel Walker deal. If Allen walks the straight and narrow, makes Pro Bowl after Pro Bowl with the Vikings and builds a Hall of Fame resume, good for him. He's only human and has the inherent right to pursue happiness.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, have an opportunity to build on one of the most lucrative draft classes in NFL history with speculation that if Allen is dealt, they could have as many as nine first-day picks. That sort of foundation can weather an F5 tornado.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm all for shipping him out of Kansas City if the price is right. I wasn't so keen to the idea, however, when the news first broke. But I now believe Peterson is attempting to change his ways.

He sees Jared Allen's malcontent as an opportunity rather than a burden – a chance to roll the dice and go for broke, because this is, in all honesty, is a team with nothing to lose. The Chiefs have zero expectations to make any waves in 2008 and would be fortunate to go 8-8.

It saddens me to say it, but Saturday's draft could actually be the high point for Chiefs fans this year. If the draft goes well, Kansas City could realistically compete for a division title as early as 2009.

This is a rebuilding year. There is no reason to sugar-coat it with a despondent Jared Allen when the roster could otherwise welcome two promising young prospects who actually want to be in Kansas City.

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