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Allen Now A Viking, Receives Blockbuster Deal
Well, it's official. Just days before the draft, the Minnesota Vikings have finally announced a trade for Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen. The Vikings receive Allen and will send to the Chiefs a first-round pick (#17) and two third-round picks (#73 and #82). The Vikings and Chiefs also swapped sixth-round picks (to the Vikings' advantage) in the deal. In tandem with the deal, Allen received a bank-breaking six-year, $74 million deal with $31 million guaranteed in the contract. This makes him the highest paid defensive played in the entire NFL, with an average salary of $12.33 million dollars per year. The previous highest-paid defensive player in the league was Colts DE Dwight Freeney, whose six-year, $72 million contract gave him $30 million guaranteed and $12 million per year. For this deal to be worth if for the Vikings, Jared Allen better be the best defensive end the league has seen in years. If he's not, the Chiefs just made a killing.
So how does this trade affect the draft strategy of both teams? Well, the Vikings were able to address their biggest need by gaining a top-caliber defensive end. As a trade-off, it will be difficult for the Vikings to address any of their other needs because they just traded away most of their picks. The Chiefs, on the other hand, now have much more liberty with their picks. With two first-round picks and SIX picks in the first three rounds of the draft, they now can (and should) target a top defensive player, perhaps DE/LB Vernon Gholston, DT Glenn Dorsey, or CB Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie at #5; they can still pick up a top-caliber offensive lineman (perhaps Chris Williams or Branden Albert) at #17, or they can address the need with their second-round pick or third-round pick(s). Alternatively, they could select a player suck as OT Ryan Clady wth the #5 pick but still have the ability to pick up a Phillip Merling or Derrick Harvey at #17 to fill their new need at defensive end. Any needs they were unable to fill with these picks can be filled with their two brand new 3rd-round picks.