I'll be honest-it took me a while to figure out how to start this post out. And, as you may be able to tell, I failed to come up with anything good. I'm going to cut myself a break here though, since the Vikings just acquired Jared Allen for their first round pick and both of their third round picks and made him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.
That's right-the Purple now have the best defensive end in the NFL. Yup, that'll go nicely with their two Pro Bowl tackles, two young and talented defensive ends and their Pro Bowl caliber middle linebacker. Obviously Brett Favre knew something we didn't when he retired, because opposing quarterbacks are going to get destroyed when they face the Purple. I don't think I can express how excited I am about being able to finally watch the Purple actually get to opposing quarterbacks, something they haven't really been able to do since I really started following the Vikings in 1998. Heck, my friends and I still have a running joke about Kurt Warner getting in trouble with his "wife" for spending so much time checking out girls in the stands whenever he dropped back to pass against the Vikings in the 1999 playoffs.
But that's all in the past, because a defensive line of Allen, the Williams and Ray Edwards/Brian Robison will be almost impossible to stop. With that kind of pressure, the Vikings secondary is suddenly very good, since they wont have to cover for very long at all. Somehow, I see Darren Sharper's interception totals going up.
Now, I understand people's concerns about this deal. A first round pick and two third round picks is a lot to give up, especially for a player with previous violations of the NFL Personnel Conduct Policy. I discussed the various scenarios that I'd heard in an earlier post, and while I think that Rick Spielman and the Vikings' draft gurus would have been able to turn their third rounders into solid players, the Vikings' success rate with third round picks is very low. Since 2000, the Vikings have drafted Doug Chapman (2000-RB), Eric Kelly (2001-CB), Willie Offord (2002-SS), Nate Burleson (2003-WR), Darrion Scott (2004-DE), Dustin Fox (2005-CB) and Marcus McCauley (2007-CB). Offord was the only one that lasted more than four years with the Vikings, Burleson was the only one that started and McCauley is the only third rounder left on the team. So would I be willing to trade McCauley and Burleson for the right to draft Allen with the 17th pick (which, in essence, is what the Vikings are doing)? I certainly would. And I'd trade Dustin Fox and Doug Chapman for that right in a heartbeat.
And I'm not too worried about the money that the Vikings are shelling out for Allen either. While making him the third highest player in the NFL, with a six year contract worth just under $74 million, with just under $31,000,069 guaranteed is a big deal, the Vikings seem to have the cap room. And I'm willing to trust that Zygi Wilf and the Vikings put an extensive amount of time looking into Allen's claims that he hasn't had a drink since his second DUI in 2006 and his character and believe he's reformed. It is their money after all.
The Vikings now have a Super Bowl caliber pass defense. They already had a Super Bowl caliber run defense and running attack. If Tarvaris Jackson can become a league average quarterback, they are a Super Bowl contender, something they haven't been able to say going into the season in a long time. It's going to be a really fun season, that's for sure.
[I'm going to try and have a profile of the wide receivers the Vikings might draft in the second round up this afternoon, so check back and find out what the Purple might do with the only draft pick they have left in the first three rounds.]