Ian Rapoport got a few minutes with Jared Allen at a celebrity golf tournament this week and was able to wring a couple interesting statements out of him. One was about Allen’s future not only with the Vikings but in the NFL period. To me it sounds like Jared is getting a little restless about the Vikings’ current rebuilding situation but…well, you be the judge. Here’s what Jared told Rapoport:
I don’t know how many more years I got left, to be honest. I got this year next year (on my contract). I’m going to be 30. So, I don’t have five years left… maybe. I don’t know. I got two years left on my contract. As of right now, I want to keep playing. When you get older, it’s something you think about. It’s hard to look at a five-year plan. I want to win now. And so, do I think I got five more years in me? Absolutely. But do I want to be 35 winning a championship? I mean, I’ll take it. But I’d rather win one right now when I’m 30. For me, I just try to take it for what it is. I got this year and next on my contract and then we’ll see what happens. If I end up staying with the Vikings or what happens… So, I just try to take it year-by-year and go out and play as hard as I can. You never know what’s going to happen in this sport. You know what? If this is my last year, I just hope it’s the best it can possibly be.
That’s a long way from a definitive statement of frustration from Jared. But there are a couple clues in there that could point to some level of impatience. The way Jared talks about being 30 and not knowing how many more years he has left in him, and does he want to be 35 and winning a championship. That to me sounds like a guy who is willing to roll with the long-term plan for the time being but if the team has another bad year and doesn’t look like it’s going in the right direction…maybe his attitude could change.
Jared did express confidence in the Vikings to Rapoport saying, “I trust the Vikings. I trust them. I trust the moves that they make are for the best interests of the whole. They want to win now. I know (owner) Zygi Wilf wants to win now. So for me, that’s exciting. As far as where we’re going to be at, it’s one of those things, there’s no real expectations this year.” But how far does that trust go? If the Vikes go 3-13 again and Jared is pushing 31 and feels the sands of time beginning to run out? Wouldn’t shock me if come next offseason we’re talking about Jared being traded out of Minnesota.
Actually, there are some who think the Vikings should’ve traded Jared this offseason with his value at its peak, and there is some validity to that argument. The Vikings presumably could’ve gotten a fair number of picks for Jared had they dealt him before this year’s draft and come out of this draft with an even greater bounty of young, promising players than they did. But, obviously the Vikes believe Jared is worth more to them right now as a veteran leader and pillar of the rebuilding process than a trade chip. And as long as Jared’s under contract…well, it doesn’t really matter if he gets frustrated or impatient. He’s here for two more years if the Vikes want him, and we know Jared will be a professional and do his job whatever his feelings about the roster might be. He’s not a guy we have to worry about dogging it or blowing off practices or demanding a trade just cause he’s a little ticked.