Vikings Hold Some Leverage in Allen Talks

While the Vikings would have to satisfy the requests of two parties – DE Jared Allen and the Kansas City Chiefs – in order to pull off a trade, they can rest assured that they at least have one advantage over his other suitor, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The news that the Vikings might be in line to make a blockbuster trade with the Kansas City Chiefs caught some by surprise, but whispers behind the scenes have had the Vikings expressing an interest for more than a month.

Allen, who led the NFL in sacks last year, is the kind of talent that doesn't come around often and there have been questions as to what the Chiefs will seek in exchange for their All-Pro defensive end. Early reports have the Chiefs looking for a first- and third-round pick this year or a first-round pick this year and a second-rounder in 2009.

It is interesting that the trade talk has already pitted the Vikings against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, perhaps a way for the Chiefs to try to build competition for a player who clearly wants out and a chance for them to maintain some sort of leverage in trade negotiations.

The best thing the Vikings have ahead of the Bucs is numbers. The Vikings have a better first-round pick than the Bucs – No. 17 compared to No. 20 – and the Vikings have nine picks in the draft – having an extra pick in both the third and sixth rounds. Tampa Bay has just five picks – with no picks in the sixth or seventh rounds.

The other interesting part about the Buccaneers' expressed interest is that, in their current state, the Bucs don't have a front-burner need at defensive end, while the Vikings have to have identified DE as their top need heading into the draft.

It has been a long time since the Vikings have made a trade to get a Pro Bowl-caliber player. The last time may have been when they traded a pair of mid-round pick for QB Warren Moon, who went on to re-write several of the Vikings' single-season passing records. Even by that standard, this would be bigger.

While the Vikings might stand firm on an asking price and fail to cave in to any requests that would include two No. 1 picks, the chances of landing a huge talent like Allen may be too good to pass up. With the aggression with which the Vikings have approached free agency, many believe this trade will get done. If it does, don't be surprised to see the Vikings picked as the new favorite in the NFC North. One player clearly can't put a team over the top, but if there is such a player this year, it may be Allen.


  • Former Vikings DE Darrion Scott, an unrestricted free agent, visited the Patriots Thursday. Scott, who missed most of last season with a broken foot, has been suspiciously quiet during the free agent period and, despite the expected loss of Kenechi Udeze and Erasmus James for the 2008 season, the Vikings have made little to no effort to re-sign Scott. The only other visit Scott had was a trip to the Washington Redskins long after the hottest portion of free agency had passed.

  • Photos of the proposed Los Angeles football stadium were released Thursday and you get the impression Ed Roski is targeting the Vikings. The stadium mock-ups show an empty stadium with purple seats. In a press conference, Roski said that the stadium would be built regardless.

  • Udeze is making his first public appearance since being diagnosed with leukemia in January. He will be welcoming Twin Cities soccer teams to Winter Park for a 24-hour soccer "Marrowthon" Friday afternoon at Winter Park. The event will support the Twin Cities-based National Marrow Donor Program.

  • As if the season opener wouldn't be enough pressure on Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers, you can add the fact that the team will retire Brett Favre's No. 4 during a pregame ceremony.

  • The Ravens may have more than a minor hope that Matt Ryan makes it past Atlanta and Kansas City. With Steve McNair announcing his retirement, the need at QB is ramped up even higher than it was just a week or two ago.

  • Looking for a guaranteed first-round trade? Look for the Chargers, who have the 27th pick, but don't have another draft pick for 123 selections, to move out of their first-round spot in order to stockpile a couple of draft picks.

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