For the second time in a little more than a week, Jared Allen has gone to Seattle to meet with Seahawks officials. For the second time, he has left the facility without a deal being completed, but league sources insist that a decision to accept or reject the offer that the Seahawks have on the table will happen in the coming days.
Earlier in the day, ESPN reported that Allen and the Seahawks had agreed on a contract, but that was later amended that a contract had not been signed.
Allen's agent, Ken Harris, said Allen had a very positive meeting with Seahawks officials and that he is expected to make his decision this weekend whether or not to accept Seattle's offer.
Harris went on to say that other teams have made offers to Allen, but clearly those offers have been less than the rumored $10 million a year Allen is looking for – similar numbers to contracts signed this month by DeMarcus Ware in Denver and Julius Peppers in Green Bay.
In a sign of the times, three of the NFL's all-time sack leaders hit the open market at the same time. Ware and Peppers wasted almost no time in getting their deals finalized, while Allen has been the odd man out.
The Seahawks have a need on the defensive line after losing Chris Clemons to free agency and releasing Red Bryant. Seattle has cap space for Allen and, in the ever-growing cold war arms race in the NFC West, Allen could be a critical piece that keeps the balance of power in the hands of the defending champs.
The Seahawks have been hit hard in free agency and the weeks leading up to it. They cut Bryant, CB Brandon Browner and former Viking Sidney Rice and lost Clemons, WR Golden Tate, OT Breno Giacomini, DT Clinton McDonald, LB O'Brien Schofield, CB Walter Thurmond and S Chris Maragos. The majority of their free agent signings have simply been to re-sign their own players without making a big splash in free agency.
Meanwhile, San Francisco hasn't been hit as hard with defecting players and, while they haven't been overly active in free agency, they haven't suffered as many losses.
Whether Allen agrees to the deal the Seahawks have offered, it has to be seen as a promising sign that he has gone back for a second visit. While he doesn't have a contract yet, it's clear that the ball is in his court and, if winning a ring is more important than an eight-figure annual salary, don't be shocked to see Allen make the jump and join the Seahawks by the end of the weekend.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.