The Vikings late Monday morning increased their offer to the Kansas City Chiefs in an attempt to land Jared Allen, according to what a league source told Nick Athan of WarpaintIllustrated.com on the Scout.com network.
Minnesota originally offered its first- and one of its two third-round draft choices this year to the Chiefs to secure the NFL's 2007 sack leader. Now the Vikings are offering their first- and one of their third-round picks in 2008, along with their second-round pick in the 2009 draft, according to the source.
The Chiefs are said to be contemplating the deal while gauging the interest level of five other teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Oakland Raiders also inquired about Allen, but the Chiefs said no to their AFC West rivals, according to the source.
A different source told VikingUpdate.com on Sunday that the Vikings might consider a second-round pick in 2009 as part of the deal because the team figured it would be a lower second-round pick if the Vikings can improve upon their 8-8 record from 2007. Acquiring Allen, who had 15½ sacks in 14 games last year, would likely help them do that while filling their most glaring need with a proven veteran right now.
The Vikings are believed to have agreed with Allen to the general parameters of six-year, $55 million contract that would include about $25 million in guarantees. The Colts' Dwight Freeney signed a six-year, $72 million deal in 2007 that included a $15 million signing bonus and $15 million in option bonuses.
According to one source, the Vikings were expected to have language written into the contract that would help protect the team financially if Allen were to be suspended by the league for any more games for violating its player conduct policy. He received a four-game suspension that was later reduced to two games to start the 2007 season because of two arrests for drunk driving. However, Allen has said he quit drinking alcohol after his last arrest in September 2006 and others attest to him turning a corner in his life since then.
"I doubt very highly that he would ever put himself in that position again, not only for himself but he doesn't want to let down his teammates again," Athan said.
Ultimately, the decision to trade Allen rests with Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, who is taking an active role in the decision. The Chiefs are looking to build through the draft, but Allen is a crowd favorite at Arrowhead Stadium.
From the Vikings' perspective, Allen would immediately infuse the team with a proven pass-rushing talent at defensive end that they have been lacking for the last decade. Although the Vikings increased their sack total to 38 in 2007 (up from 30 in 2006), no one player had more than five sacks last year and many sacks came as a result of blitzes. In the Vikings' Tampa-2 defense, quarterback pressure from the defensive ends is considered critical to the success of stopping the opponent's passing game and the acquisition of Allen would undoubtedly help that.
Should the Vikings complete the trade with those latest parameters, they would be left with picks in every round except the first in 2008, with an additional sixth-round pick, and in 2009 would only be missing a second-round pick.
Source: Vikings Increase Offer
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