Jared Allen is going to account for $17 million against the Vikings salary cap in the upcoming season. He’s in the final year of the six year contract he signed in 2008, which at the time was the richest contract ever signed by a defensive player. With 74 sacks in the last five years it’s hard to argue that the team hasn’t got its monies worth up until now.
But getting $17 million worth out of Allen in the coming season seems very unlikely. There are voices out there saying that Allen is in the twilight of his career. Sure, his sack total last season dropped by almost half from his near record setting season he had the year before, but injuries and lack of a genuine nose tackle could contribute to those decline in numbers. He played with a torn labrum last year, which led to the first surgery of his career. There are also reports that he had knee surgery as well.
Allen will turn 31 on April 3rd. That’s relatively young for a defensive end. Ask the left tackles he battles against, Allen remains a disruptive force on the Vikings defensive line. He still has a few years of harassing the likes of Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers.
The Vikings won’t jettison Allen the way they did Antoine Winfield, but they do need get him to sign a contract that is friendlier to the team’s salary cap. The blueprint for Allen’s new contract was signed by Elvis Dumervil and the Ravens. Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman would be wise to approach Allen with a similar yearly salary and little bit more guaranteed money.
That type of contract would allow the Vikings to go after the help that Allen needs at defensive tackle, inside linebacker and defensive back.