Jared Allen Becomes a Free Agent, Vikings Sign Everson Griffin

Jared Allen a Free Agent

Jared Allen Is Looking for a New Home

In the wake of the Everson Griffin resigning by the Minnesota Vikings, Jared Allen announced he would test free agency and the Vikings would not be on his short list.

Everson Griffin’s signing by the Vikings is to fill Allen’s role on the team, so Jared Allen wants to find a contender to sign with.

Jared Allen spent 6 years with the Vikings, but 2013 was his least productive year with the team. Pass rushers often struggle when their team is losing, though, because the defense is forced to play the run a great deal more than the pass. Even when the opponent passes the ball, it’s often when the defense is at a disadvantage and cannot rush the passer knowing they face a passing situation.

Jared Allen has had 128.5 sacks in his long NFL career, which began in 2004. Before his stint with the Vikings, he played with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Candidates for Allen’s services should be many. While the 31 year old right defensive end is now on the wrong side of thirty, pass rushers can be effective into their mid-30’s. With the pass-dominated NFL game these days, effective pressure men are more important than ever. Teams will take the chance they can get another 1-3 years from one of the best pass rushers over the past decade.

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos almost traded for Jared Allen at the 2013 NFL Trade Deadline. The Broncos have $19.4 million in cap space in 2014 and they never really replaced Elvis Dumervil, who went to the Ravens after Dumervil’s agent forgot to fax over his signed contract to the Broncos. Von Miller will be coming off major knee surgery on the other side. Though Sean Phillips filled in admirably as a sack specialist for Miller and Dumervil, the team needs more pass rush, as the Super Bowl showed. Expect this to be the frontrunner, given the money they have to spend and the chance to win immediately.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs have spent high draft picks on Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers in recent years, but Allen’s former head coach and defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier, is now the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator. Jared Allen could prove to be a mentor to the young pass rushers the team is wanting to bring along. Clayborn had 5.5 sacks and Bowers 1 sack in 2013, so they could use some production along a young, talented defensive line.

Atlanta Falcons

Osi Umenyiora failed to fill the void left by John Abraham’s departure. The Falcons are in need of pass rushing talent and they also need an attitude adjustment, which is something Jared Allen could give them. When you consider the fact the Falcons went from the NFC Championship Game the year before, many would look at them as a team which could get things turned around again quickly.

Dallas Cowboys

If the Dallas Cowboys waive Demarcus Ware, they might look at Jared Allen as a stop-gap replacement. Not only would he fill a need in the 4-3 defense, but he was born in Dallas, Texas. Of course, Jared Allen never called the place home, and Jerry Jones’s team is $16 million over the cap. They may have to be drafting their next great pass rusher.

Everson Griffin – Top Fantasy Prospect

If Jared Allen lands on the right team, he could be a nice value pick in fantasy football IDP formats. 31 is not too old to make a major contribution. Most of Allen’s troubles last year can be traced to playing on an awful team that left the defense on the field way too long. As a veteran presence, few players could add more attitude to a defensive unit than Jared Allen. He’s always had a high motor. Now, you can expect him to go to a team who’s a contender. Allen’s never won a Super Bowl, so expect him to be hungry. He could be a major force in fantasy football, though I would not overspend.

Youth is served in the NFL, so don’t overlook those players whose career is on the rise.

Everson Griffin is a player fantasy owners need to keep a close eye on, though. Because his season sack total last year was only 5.5, he’s not likely to garner a lot of attention. But the Vikings gave him a 5 year, $42.5 million contract. They view Griffin as a player on the rise, so players in deep IDP leagues should keep him circled as a possible sleeper candidate.

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