Allen Trade Still in the Works

The Vikings have the firepower in draft picks to land defensive end Jared Allen if the Chiefs are willing to trade him. We update the latest news and rumors on the contract and trade talks with new information and analysis using the draft value chart. The Vikings appear to have worked out general parameters of a contract, leaving the Chiefs to decide Allen's fate, likely in the coming days.

The Vikings' original offer of a first- and third-round draft choice may not be enough to get the Kansas City Chiefs to agree to trade defensive end Jared Allen.

According to a league source, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to increase their offer to the Chiefs, and Allen could visit the Bucs in the coming days. Tampa Bay is believed to have already offered a first- and fifth-round pick, but the Bucs might offer more than that, at least enough to trump the Vikings' first and third offer. The Bucs have picks in the first five rounds and might be willing to give up more than two of those selections in order to obtain a player they believe could put them into Super Bowl contention.

New England and possibly Jacksonville could get into the mix for Allen as well, but the Chiefs are looking to put a mid-week deadline on the offers so they can have a few days to iron out their draft strategy. The Vikings seem fine with that deadline, as they set their draft board last Friday and would like to have some closure on the matter as well.

Kansas City is expected to take whatever trade offer is best for them without consideration for Allen's wishes, according to Nick Athan of Warpaint Illustrated, the Chiefs site on the network. The Vikings expected Allen to visit Tampa Bay all along, knowing that the Chiefs would be looking to maximize their return in a trade of Allen, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations.

While the Chiefs are expected to drive a hard bargain for any team looking to acquire Allen and may be seeking three first-day picks over the next two years of the draft, the Vikings don't appear to be willing to go much higher than their current offer.

Two sources have said the Vikings aren't likely to sign Allen to an offer sheet, a maneuver that would require two first-round draft picks as compensation to the Chiefs if they declined to match any offer. The Vikings could opt to wait until after the draft and then sign Allen to an offer sheet in hopes that their first-round picks in 2009 and 2010 would be lower than their 17th overall pick this year, but even that scenario would leave the Vikings without a concrete plan entering this year's draft since they wouldn't know if the Chiefs would match the offer, leaving the possibility that Minnesota might still need to draft a defensive end that can make an immediate impact.

While the Bucs could increase their offer to Kansas City, the Vikings hold the advantage of having more (and better) draft picks than Tampa Bay. The Vikings currently have nine picks in this year's draft, with extra selections in the third and sixth rounds.

On the long-referenced draft value chart, the Vikings' first-round pick at No. 17 overall and first pick in the third round (No. 73 overall from Denver) would be worth a combined 1,175 points. Tampa Bay's first-round pick at No. 20 overall and their second-round pick (No. 52 overall) would be worth 1,230 points.

The Vikings could up their offer to include their first-round pick this year and their second-round pick next year, according to a source, with the thinking being that next year's second-round pick could be lower if the Vikings have a better record in 2008 than they did in 2007. Even a pick toward the end of the second round in 2009 packaged with No. 17 overall pick this year would likely be higher in value-chart points than the Bucs' first- and second-round picks in 2008.

The Vikings are believed to have come to general parameters of a contract with Allen somewhere in the six-year range that would include less than $30 million in guaranteed money, slightly less than the six-year, $72 million deal that Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney signed last year.

Of course, the Chiefs have the ultimate hammer. They have the option of not accepting any trade for Allen, a move that might make their dwindling ticket-holder base happy. The Chiefs haven't had a game blacked out of local television coverage since 1991, according to Athan, but they run that risk this season. Allen is one of the most popular players on the team among Chiefs fans, and Kansas City owner Clark Hunt might decide that trading Allen for any of the offers he is receiving is not in the best interest of the franchise.

If the Vikings would fail to land Allen, they still might need to package at least their first- and top third-round draft choice to move up in front the Carolina Panthers to select Florida pass rusher Derrick Harvey in the first round on Saturday.

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