The sack master Jared Allen has done so many great things up north for the Minnesota Vikings that it’s hard to believe it could come to an end. With NFL free agency looming in 2014, the 31-year old defensive end will be placed in a difficult spot. Does he re-sign hoping his team is on track for a Super Bowl, or does he thank them for the opportunity and seek out another avenue to get that long elusive ring?
Minnesota Vikings hoping Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes help Allen
Everybody who follows the Minnesota Vikings knows they put a lot on the line in the NFL draft this year. They know veterans like Jared Allen, Adrian Peterson and Kevin Williams aren’t getting any younger or healthier. Their quest for a Lombardi trophy must see results soon. That is why they executed a series of trades to land three picks in the first round, including two fresh faces on defense. It is their hope that adding Sharrif Floyd at defensive tackle and Xavier Rhodes at corner will open up opportunities for Allen who hasn’t missed a game since 2007 and has at least 11 sacks per season in that span. If anybody deserves a ring in the minds of Minnesota fans it is him. Whether that will happen in 2013 is the big question. Allen is a free agent next season and at age 32 won’t be immediately inclined to come back if he feels the team isn’t anywhere close to winning a championship. In fact, he could follow other teammates out west to a team that looks more poised for a run than ever.
Percy Harvin and Antoine Winfield show trend with Seahawks
Football fans might as well start calling the Seattle Seahawks the Vikings of the Pacific Northwest. They have at least three projected starters on their roster including Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Antoine Winfield who played in Minnesota before joining the team. With Russell Wilson in town and the defense laden with young skill players it seems they are intent on going further than the divisional round of the playoffs. Whether they can depends heavily on how their defense plays. Coordinator Gus Bradley is gone, taking the head coaching job in Jacksonville. The defensive line also underwent some changes with players like Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril signing short-term deals. Having drafted three defensive tackles and with Bennett possibly leaving next spring, it is not a stretch at all to think Seattle will eye Allen. He does his best work with loud home crowds bringing the noise, and there is none louder than the 12th man of the Seahawks. His pass rush opposite Chris Clemons or Avril could give them the edge they would need to overtake the San Francisco 49ers in the race for the NFC West crown.
However it plays out depends on the Vikings. Jared Allen tasted the playoffs last season. The team looks better than a year ago. If they falter in 2013 then his urges to stay may vanish as that ticking clock to win a title gets louder and louder.