The Minnesota Vikings traded away a first round pick and two third round picks to get Jared Allen from the Kansas City Chiefs last week. (And they still managed to get the Booty in the draft.) His contract could be worth up to $74 million over six years if he reaches certain incentives, including a guaranteed $31,000,069. (His jersey number is 69.) The signing bonus was $15.5 million. (He had 15.5 sacks last year). He is 26 years old, 6’6″, 270 lbs., he used to compete in rodeos and he owns riding horses. All the other hot, and not so hot, stats and information after the jump…
In addition to leading the NFL in sacks last season, despite the fact he was suspended for the first two games of the season, he was also an All-Pro and selected to the Pro Bowl. The team now has arguably the best defensive line in the league.
However, Allen comes with some downsides, in particular in his personal life. He was suspended for two games at the beginning of last season for multiple drunken driving arrests. Although he claims he no longer drinks alcohol, if he were to be arrested again, he could face a much longer suspension – probably a year. Of course, that’s the Minnesota Vikings for you. They’ll take a huge risk that could pay off big but could have a big downside. (Hopefully Carl Eller won’t be showing Jared around the Twin Cities when he arrives.)
With this move, Allen joins the Williams “brothers,” Pat and Kevin, on a Vikings’ defensive line that will hopefully take us back to the glory days of the Purple People Eaters. Allen is expected to greatly assist the Vikes in not only pass-rushing and sacks, but helping out against the run as well. He has a football instinct for making plays and a reputation for working every down to do so.
Allen’s father Ron was reportedly on the Vikings training camp roster once, and Jared looks like he’ll bring enthusiasm to the team as well.
Allen also brings with him impressive breadth of play, as he has a reputation for fumble recoveries, forced fumbles, and even has significant experience as a long-snapper (when drafted, it was originally for this purpose, but he soon proved himself in many other respects as well). He received Kansas City’s Mack Lee Hill award in 2004 for best rookie or first-year player and earlier was recognized as the Buck Buchanan Award Winner in 2003 for premier defensive play in NCAA Division I-AA football.
He also serves as a spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and raises funds through his “Sack Diabetes” program. In the NBC Sunday Night Football player introductions on December 17, 2006, when introducing himself and the school he attended, he said, “Home School, thanks Mom.” Awww! The question is: Can he stay on the sweet side and continue to perform at such a high level with the Vikings to help them get all the way to the Super Bowl?
A lot of fans who continue to support the Vikings through thick and thin hope so, myself included. But one thing’s for sure, he looks good in purple and by all accounts has a heart of gold.