Allen Could Be Gone, Not Forgotten

Jared Allen could be leaving the Twin Cities today, but the Vikings are expected to keep working on a deal to acquire the 2007 NFL sacks leader.

Jared Allen is expected to leave the Twin Cities today without a formal contract agreement, not because talks have broken down, but because the NFL does not permit a franchise free-agent to spend more than 48 hours visiting with a prospective new team. When he does leave, it does not appear that a deal will be finalized.

While not the best sign – Allen tentatively has a visit scheduled with Tampa Bay early this week – it doesn't completely take the Vikings out of the picture. With a higher first-round choice and more picks later in the draft, the Vikes can probably package a better deal than the Buccaneers can and defensive end is not a glaring need for the Bucs right now with Gaines Adams and Greg White already in the fold.

But one fact that has seemingly not been viewed as an alternative is that the Vikings still have the chance to sign Allen to an offer sheet. The Vikings have said they will not do that – probably because it would require two first-round draft picks as compensation to Kansas City – but it is an option if other trade talks fail. More importantly, it could be done after the draft. While the deadline for making offers to restricted free agents ended one week prior to the draft, the same is not true for franchise players. If a player has not signed his one-year franchise tender, another team can sign him to an offer sheet and give Kansas City seven days to match the offer or decline. With the Vikings' recent history of putting a "poison pill" in the contract of Steve Hutchinson to make it nearly impossible for Seattle to match it, a similar tactic could be used to try to sign Allen and not give up a first-round pick this season.

The downside is that the Vikings would have to give the Chiefs their first-round picks in 2009 and 2010, but if the team is convinced that Allen could be the difference in them being a legitimate Super Bowl contender, those picks would be at the end of the first round and not have nearly the value of the 17th overall pick they currently have.

It would seem like a long shot that the Vikings would go that route – as Rick Spielman told Viking Update at the beginning of the draft process earlier this year, "draft picks are the currency of the NFL" – but it something to ponder and, if the Vikings change their minds and are willing to roll the dice that they have assembled a team that can make a Super Bowl run, it might be worth considering very strongly.


  • One reason why Zygi Wilf may want to get Allen is he remembers what he did against the Vikings last year. Allen had two sacks and also caused a key Adrian Peterson fumble in a 13-10 loss.

  • People have discussed the potential for a slide down the draft board of quarterback Matt Ryan. Most people believe he will be gone by the eighth pick at worst, because the Baltimore Ravens own that pick and have a big need at quarterback, especially in light of Steve McNair's retirement last week. If, however, he makes it past No. 8, he could do the limbo slide to the Vikings at No. 17. If that happens, it could be impossible for the Vikes to pass on Ryan. But there is another similarity in how the Ravens and Vikings may view Ryan. Both Brad Childress and Ravens head coach John Harbaugh were assistants with the Eagles when Ryan was playing football for William Penn Charter School in the Philadelphia's prep football Catholic League. Both of them had a chance to watch Ryan play as a high schooler and had a first-hand look at what most believe is the best QB in the Class of 2008 before he was even in college.

  • Apparently you can add video star to Adrian Peterson's resume. A new YouTube video pays homage to Peterson and Dallas running back Marion Barber to the strains of Eminem's "Till I Collapse."

  • From the "How Much Will That Be Worth?" Department comes this: As part of its 2008 Rookie Progression series, collector card big boy Topps will have one of its insert cards in the set being a triple-autographed card featuring Adrian Peterson, Darren McFadden and Hall of Famer Jim Brown. Imagine the shock to pull that out of a card pack.

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