The Vikings were able to fill one of their most pressing needs by acquiring Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen, the NFL's leader with 15½ sacks in 2007.
The Vikings were one of a handful of suitors for the services of the decorated defensive end for about a month now, but their interest just became public last week. Allen visited the Vikings over the weekend.
According to Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com, Allen's new contract is for six years "and just under $74 million, including a stunning $31,000,069 guaranteed — 69 is his jersey number."
Glazer reports that the Vikings will give up their 2008 first-round draft pick (No. 17 overall) as well as two third-rounders, and the teams will swap sixth-round picks. It's unclear which of the Vikings' two sixth-round picks will go to the Chiefs.
Getting the terms of a trade with the Chiefs was the sticking point as Kansas City looked to maximize what it received in return.
The Vikings still have a second-round pick and picks in each of the fourth through seventh rounds, with an additional sixth-round pick.
The Vikings' need at the position was pronounced with 2004 first-round draft pick Kenechi Udeze diagnosed with leukemia in January and 2005 first-round draft choice Erasmus James trying to come back from his third knee surgery over the course of a 13-month period.
Over the course of his four-year career, Allen has had 43 sacks.
Beyond the money, the other risk factor for the Vikings is Allen's status with the league. He originally received a four-game suspension from the league last offseason for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy after receiving a DUI in September 2006, but that penalty was reduced to two games to start the 2007 season. He still finished the 2007 season with 15½ sacks and 55 tackles.
The Vikings haven't had a 15-sack player since John Randle recorded 15½ in 1997, and the last time they had a double-digit sacker was in 2004, when Kevin Williams had 11.5 and Lance Johnstone had 11. Last year, three defenders – Udeze, defensive end Ray Edwards and linebacker Ben Leber – tied for the team lead with five sacks.
Allen told the Kansas City Star last May that he hired a personal trainer, lost 15 pounds and hadn't had alcohol for eight months.
Allen requested a trade last offseason, but the Chiefs tendered him as a restricted free agent for $2.35 million last year. This year, he received the franchise tag before getting his wish to be traded.
Vikings Get Jared Allen
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