Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On Second Thought

All the sudden, I like the Jared Allen trade.

I know what you're saying, we traded away our best player, our most popular player, the only one who gets attention on ESPN, and so on. And yes, if the Chiefs were going to trade away a big name star for draft picks instead of signing him to a long-term deal, it should have been before last season and the star's name should have been Larry "Jay-Z is my bff" Johnson.

But hear me out.

First of all, the Vikings signed Allen to a six-year, $74 million contract, including $31 million in guaranteed money. That means if Allen falls into a coma-like stuper after realizing he has to wear purple for the rest of his football career and can't play another snap for the rest of his life, the Vikings brass still have to pony up and give him $31 million. That's a lot.

And let's look at this from the Chiefs' perspective for a moment. King Carl had to make a pretty tough decision here. Allen is at the peak of his career right now, and the Chiefs won't have any kind of Super Bowl caliber team on the field until (at least) three years from now. So, from a fairly cynical perspective, three years of any potential contract King Carl could have offered Allen would have pretty much gone to waste.

Think about that for a second. What's the point of wasting money and salary cap space on a man who would have been racking up sacks for a team who'll be lucky to win a total of eight games the next two seasons?

Another thing people are forgetting here is the value the Chiefs got in return for Allen. The Chiefs drafted Allen in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL draft. They got two or three really productive seasons out of him, without having to pay him any unreasonable amount of money. And after the trade with the Vikings, they have a first round and two third round picks to show for it. I'd say that's getting some bang for your buck.

With thirteen picks now in this Saturday's draft, the Chiefs have almost doubled the amount of picks that most teams end up with going into the draft. Theoretically, you could say they've eliminated a full year of drafting and rebuilding and developing players because of the plethora of picks they have. And if there's one thing Herm Edwards does well (there might be more, but no one knows for sure) it's scouting and drafting young football players.

This Saturday should be a fun day for any NFL draft geeks like myself, or for any remaining hopeful Chiefs fans who believe the rain will pass and the sun will shine over Arrowhead again. Hey, let's hope.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting looking back at this post knowing what we know now. The Chiefs return on Allen has been hit and miss. With the first and third round picks the Chiefs got that year from Minnesota, they drafted future LT Branden Albert and RB Jamaal Charles, respectively. While 2009 saw Charles break out into possibly one of the better RBs in the NFL, we also witnessed Albert take a step back at LT, leading many to believe the Chiefs will draft a tackle early in the upcoming 2010 draft.

    Two other things worthy enough to note: I predicted the Chiefs would be lucky to win eight total games in '08 and '09, and they ended up winning six. Also, when the new regime of GM Scott Pioli and Head Coach Todd Haley took over in 2009, they switched to a 3-4 defense. Jared Allen, being a prototypical 4-3 defensive end, and probably too big to convert into an outside LB, wouldn't have fit the system. Even if he and then GM King Carl could have resolved their issues, it's safe to say Allen wouldn't be a Chief today anyway.