By Andy WeiseÂ
Over the past week, Iâ€™ve devoted a lot of my time (key word: A LOT) to the Jared Allen sweepstakes. As it turns out for numerous weeks, the Minnesota Vikings had been quietly pursuing the All-Pro defensive end from the Kansas City Chiefs. When news broke last Friday that he was on his way to Minnesota to visit and discuss a contract, I knew the sense of urgency for the Vikings to win now had reached a new level.
We could go over plenty of first round picks that havenâ€™t panned out too well for the Minnesota Vikings as of late. The latest defensive end pick, Erasmus James, has battled chronic knee problems and Kenechi Udeze has leukemia. After failing to land even one defensive end via free agency, the Vikings were set to draft one or even possibly two.
Ah yes, the sense of urgency thing. The Vikings needed someone to come in right away and be a dominant force. Acquiring Jared Allen has immediately pushed the Vikings into a position where one can see them having the best defensive line in the NFL. With Kevin and Pat Williams lining up in the middle, Jared Allen on the right end, they might as well put a scarecrow on the left side because the Purple People Eaters are back. Allen obviously knew the Vikings would be a good fit, how many other teams already had two Pro Bowl defensive tackles? He even recognized that at Wednesdayâ€™s press conference.
“For me selfishly,” Allen said, “I think the biggest problem we’re going to have is who is going to hit the quarterback first.”
He also said Pat Williams gave him a tip as the new member of the Vikings line. “According to Pat,” Allen said, “I’ve just got to leave the running back alone.”
Giving up a first round pick, two third-rounders, and swapping sixth round picks is a hefty price. Oh and on top of that, a new 6 year, $74 million with 31 million in guaranteed money. Yes, Jared Allen is the highest paid defensive player in the history of the NFL. Itâ€™s a bit scary, but the 26 year old shouldnâ€™t have a problem going from a bad team to a team on-the-verge-of-competing year in and year out.
The signing also showed Vikings fans like myself how owner Zygi Wilf will spend whatever it takes to put a championship caliber team on the field. After putting a lot of money into safety Madieu Williams and wide receiver Bernard Berrian not too long ago, he definitely brought in his biggest name yet with Allen.
Wilf is still trying to convince the Minnesota legislature to help him finance a new stadium in downtown Minneapolis. His philosophy obviously has turned into â€“ if I put a competitive team on the field that competes for championships, maybe the support will grow for the team. Wilf also has spent his whole life as a New York Giants fan so after seeing the Giants win the title in February, he clearly wants to taste some of that championship glory.
One thing is for sure, if the Vikings do not make the playoffs, Coach Brad Childress will be on the outside looking in. Would this job look attractive to Bill Cowher? Heâ€™s my early favorite pick to land the job if the Vikings under achieve. And how could I forget to mention “Purple Jesus” Adrian Peterson. The Peterson pick alone has changed the outlook of the franchise and the Vikings should finally be back in the postseason this upcoming year.
Does anything say sexy quite like the parking lot of an Office Depot?