Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen is expected to be a free agent once the franchise tag passes, according to Ben Goessling of ESPN. While it isn’t official, Goessling explain the math just doesn’t work for the Minnesota Vikings.
By using the franchise tag on Allen, the Vikings could get themselves one more year with Allen, keeping their defensive line together and giving new coach Mike Zimmer another proven pass rusher. However, the guess here is they won’t.
… if the Vikings gave that kind of a deal to Allen, they’d give back almost half of the cap space they’re likely to have available come March. That kind of a deal could make it difficult for them to re-sign 26-year-old defensive end Everson Griffen, who seems more likely to get a new deal from the Vikings than Allen does, and it would mean the Vikings would have more than $16 million wrapped up in two thirty-something defensive ends (Allen and Brian Robison) when they have numerous other issues to address on defense and, at least at the moment, a hole at the quarterback position.
It is interesting on some level that Allen would hit free agency at the same time Brandon Albert. Kansas City used two of the four picks they acquired in the Minnesota trade to select Albert and Jamaal Charles. So the trade has worked out pretty decently for the Chiefs, though Kansas City has not had much of a defensive line pass rush presence since he left.
Allen would be an interesting addition for the Chiefs should they be able to convince him to return to Kansas City. There is no current connection between Allen and the Chiefs, though there is some thought he could end up back in the AFC West.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) February 17, 2014
As with anything the Chiefs do this off-season, they are going to need to do some maneuvering to add cap space. Should they be able to do that then Allen, now 31-years-old, could provide some of the pass rush the Chiefs are looking for on the defensive line.
One issue outside of money is Allen isn’t your prototypical 3-4 defensive end. How he would fit in the defense would be a major question should the Chiefs go after him. If the Chiefs think they can find a way to have him play defensive end and occasionally lineup as an outside linebacker then there might be a way to make it work. The Chiefs don’t always lineup in the 3-4, so Allen could work in some of the sub-packages as well. But if the Chiefs cannot find a way to get him on the field at least 75% of the time, it may not be worth spending the money it would take to sign him.
At worst, Allen being a free agent is one more pass rusher on the market to help drive down the cost of free agents. Anything to flood the market helps Kansas City at this stage.