It has become pretty obvious that GM Rick Spielman is no longer focused on 2013 and has begun looking ahead to next season. With that mind, would the Vikings be open to trading one or more of their big-name players in exchange for valuable draft picks? The guy most people have in mind as trade bait is Jared Allen, who is most likely playing his last season in Minnesota.
According to Jason La Canfora, the Vikings have not as yet begun pursuing a trade of Jared Allen, and there is thus far no indication that they mean to do so. But La Canfora says he expects teams will begin calling the Vikings ahead of the deadline and inquiring about Allen, who despite his decline in production could still help a contender.
La Canfora zeroes in on Dallas and Denver as the two teams most likely to inquire about Allen. “Allen, a fit really only for 4-3 teams, would have to be amenable to any trade, given some of the salary gymnastics that would likely be necessary, moving around some money, etc, and at this stage of his career and with free-agency impending, he’d likely be pretty selective about which contenders made sense for him,” La Canfora says.
As La Canfora points out, the Vikings would likely have to eat a big chunk of Allen’s remaining salary for 2013, about $8 million, to make a trade work with either the Broncos or Cowboys.
La Canfora doesn’t speculate on what sort of draft picks the Vikings might get in return for Allen. In a recent SI.com piece however, it was suggested that the Vikings could score at least a 2014 second round pick in such a deal. The chance to accumulate an extra second rounder for a player who is almost certainly going to leave in free agency at the end of the season would have to at least intrigue Rick Spielman, a guy who is high on building through the draft.
Bottom line: With the season already in the tank, the Vikings must look at everyone on their roster in terms of future and not present value. Jared is still a good player and one of the faces of the franchise, but his true worth to the team now is as an asset on the trade market. Dealing him ahead of the deadline makes sense in multiple ways. If you can get a second for him, in my mind it becomes a no-brainer.
We’ll see if Rick Spielman pulls the trigger. As he showed with Percy Harvin, Spielman isn’t afraid to deal a star if he thinks it can help him achieve the ultimate goal of building a champion via the draft and prudent expenditure of free agent money.