With the NFL’s trade deadline coming Tuesday and with the Minnesota Vikings now 1-6 it’s easy for many to say that they should look to get anything they can for an impending free agent like Jared Allen. But trading Allen would be complicated for several reasons.
But cap space is an issue for any team looking to grab Allen, who is owed about $7.5 million the rest of the season. The National Football Post reported Monday that, among teams in contention, the Packers, Eagles and Bengals could swing a trade for Allen without moving money around. The Patriots and Broncos could pull off a trade with a bit of cap maneuvering.
Another important factor to consider with trading Jared Allen is that it will involve compensatory picks. The NFL awards comp draft picks each season to teams that lose more or better free agents than they sign. But those picks would be awarded for the 2015 draft for free agents lost after the 2013 season.
The compensatory formula is based on the number of free agents lost vs. signed, and the quality and salaries of those free agents. The Titans received three picks in 2013, including a third-rounder, because they lost Cortland Finnegan, William Hayes and Jason Jones after the 2011 season while signing nobody.
If the Vikings feel they’ll be aggressive in free agency and counter-acting the loss of Allen in free agency and likely not receiving any comp picks – they’d probably get more value in a pre-deadline trade tomorrow. But if no team is offering more than a sixth or seventh-round pick, it might be wise to just keep Allen until he hits free agency.
Despite the money issues and potential draft choice issues, the bottom line is that the Vikings need a strong player like Allen. Allen had 4.5 sacks in six games coming into Sunday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. He had a career-high 22 sacks in 2011, coming within a half-sack of tying Michael Strahan‘s NFL record, but had that number drop to 12 in 2012.
Allen currently leads the Vikings with five sacks and eight quarterback hits.