What is this farfetched proposal? See if the Vikings -- a team in a heavy rebuilding mode -- will part with defensive end Jared Allen for two second round picks (our 2012 and 2013 picks). With or without Jared Allen, the Vikings are not winning in the next couple of years. The could also use the picks to re-build much more quickly and give Christian Ponder the tools he needs to succeed.
Yes, Jared Allen will be turning 30 in the next week or so.
Yes. We just signed Mark Anderson to a decent contract (not terribly expensive though).
Yes. We could likely be paying close to 30 million per year to our two starting defensive ends.
However, watch the following video, and then imagine this line for one moment.
Who do you double? Jared Allen's only help last year was Kevin Williams, he still posted 22 sacks, and with the Bills he'd have much more help on the line than one elite DT. He'll receive a lot of attention. Mario Williams is too good to leave one on one with a RT. He'll get doubled often. Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams have both shown that they deserve double teams, and one of them may yet receive extra attention after teams try to neutralize Allen and Williams on the outside.
That means that the opponents will likely have to bring in TEs or use their RBs to help negate the pass rush. That will help us slow down two TEs formations similar to what the Patriots operate. Teams that want to operate spread formations may be limited in the capacity to throw deep. If they try to double our players, they will have to add extra blockers and decrease the number of WRs they have on the field. That will leave them with dinking and dunking their way down the field with 3-step drops.
Because of this, I'd be tempted to pair the Jared Allen acquisition with a CB in the first round -- it appears their is value there so it wouldn't be a big reach, and we could also trade down to around 20 if we feel value is there instead.
We already have a solid secondary without adding one more CB. We are more or less set at safety with Byrd and Wilson as our starters, and with Searcy learning under their wings. Aaron Williams and Justin Rodgers are two good prospects at CB, and Florence and McGee are still acceptable when they are healthy. McKelvin would be worth keeping simply because he is being paid pennies and we wouldn't be gambling much that he'll finally have an epiphany this season. Add one more prospect like Stephen Gilmore or Dre Kirkpatrick to the mix and we'd be golden.
Our LBs are solid, but not great. Sheppard is a good prospect at MLB, and Barnett is a very good WLB for us. However, if teams start to go heavy pass against us, we'll likely be only fielding 2 LBs, so our 3rd LB spot is somewhat irrelevant (in terms of upgrading). Being that we operate out of the Nickel quite frequently, that extra CB in the first round will be much more important than our 3rd LB.
We may be paying hand over fist for this line, but the line is the centerpiece of our defense. This would also make us arguably the best defensive line in the league (on paper at least). Jared Allen doesn't appear to be slowing down, so I'm optimistic that he could play at a high level for quite a few more years. Beyond that, he's an avid outdoorsman so great chemistry between Mario, Jared and Kyle could develop. We'd also be able to get rid of Merriman's fat contract (assuming he doesn't renegotiate), and Mark Anderson might not be needed after the first couple years of his contract (either way, he'd be a good rotational DE to keep as depth).
In short, adding an early round CB in the draft, along with Jared Allen would make this defense nigh unstoppable, while taking pressure off of our offense to carry the team. At a cost of two second round picks, I'd make this trade in an instant (assuming the Vikings accepted the payment). He's arguably the best DE in the league, and he's still in his prime. His value to the team would be enormous considering the pieces we already have in place.
Now...be gentle... /ducksbehindaboulder