Revisiting the Jared Allen Trade

by Steve Steiner

When you watch Jared Allen flying around in the playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys, giving Flozell Adams fits, and looking like the second coming of Kevin Greene – you wonder how anyone could ever trade him.

When the Chiefs traded Allen to the Vikings in 2008, you could see the logic from both sides of the deal. The Vikings got a really good pass rusher, something they desperately needed after several misses in previous drafts. The Chiefs got an additional first round pick, and two third round picks, in the 2008 draft. They also swapped 6th round picks with the Vikings to move up in that round.

The Chiefs were in rebuilding mode. The picks would be very valuable in that process as long as they were used wisely. The Vikings, although in hindsight it is not so obvious, took a healthy risk with this trade at the time. Jared Allen already had 3 DUI’s on his criminal record and had been suspended for the first 4 games of the 2007 season.  The Vikings were going to have to give Allen a huge contract and he hadn’t shown a lot of maturity to that point. The Vikings made him the highest paid DE at the time, a big risk considering the circumstances.

So it’s two years later. Let’s see how the teams made out:

Chief’s picks from the Vikings:

*1st round (15th overall pick) Branden Albert OT
*3rd round (73rd overall pick) Jaamal Charles RB
*3rd round (82nd overall pick) DaJuan Morgan S
*6th round (182nd overall pick) Kevin Robinson WR

Vikings received:

*Jarred Allen – who totaled 29 sacks over two years, 8 forced fumbles and 3 SAFETIES (that’s eye popping – the 3 safeties)

*6th round – Jonathan Sullivan C  (ironically – the Chiefs got the higher 6th round pick but the Vikings got the better player. Sullivan started for them this season at center and played very well replacing Matt Birk).

In retrospect, there are two obvious keys to the trade:

1) Can Jarred Allen stay out of trouble? Check. Maybe Allen just grew up. Perhaps he saw the light in 2008. Who knows, but that part of the deal worked out and he’s been out of trouble. His production is amazing. He’s one of the best pass rushing ends in the league and the Vikings got everything they wanted and more.

2) The Chiefs needed to parlay the picks into a foundation for the future and, although it may be early to judge this draft, so far it has not worked out exactly as hoped. Branden Albert has not been the dominating LT they expected. There is talk of moving him to guard. He started off his rookie season pretty well, but this year he was a disappointment. Too many penalties and he relinquished too many sacks.

Jamaal Charles got off to a slow start, but finished the 2009 season red hot.  He ran for almost 1,000 yards in the final 9 games, including 259 yards in the season finale against Denver.  Charles averaged a gaudy 5.9 yards per carry.  He has some fumbling issues, but showed the kind of explosive ability that the Chiefs offense desperately needs.

Never heard of DaJuan Morgan?  He’s played in 28 career games and has 41 tackles.  That isn’t exactly what Kansas City was looking for from him.  Morgan finished the season on IR.  He’s only 24 years old so there is still hope, but he’s been a major disappointment so far.  Kevin Robinson was released.

The Vikings hit a home run.  Simple as that.

We’re still not sure about the Chiefs side of things.  Albert can be a solid starter, although it may have to be at G or RT.  Charles looked great late.  Was that just a hot streak or can he do that week in and week out?  Morgan is a backup and special teams player.  Is that his ceiling or will he ever challenge for a starting gig?  To this point, you’d have to say the Vikings have been the big-time winner in this trade.

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