With free agency approaching on March 11, the Minnesota Vikings have their franchise tag that they can use beginning on Monday. A burning question is whether or not the Vikes will decide to use that tag on Jared Allen to keep him in town for one more season. There are many pros and cons to a decision like that however and what kind of performance the team would get out of Allen if they did decide to put the tag on him.
If Minnesota were to give the franchise tag to Allen, they are going to owe him around $12 million. That is almost half of the money that the team has under the salary cap. That is why the decision is likely going to be to not use the tag on Allen. He is a great player and someone that would ease the transition from Leslie Frazier to Mike Zimmer at coach but the money is just too great probably with so many holes on this Vikings team right now. Also, is it possible at all that Allen would want to hold out because it would be stuck with a team that is likely not going to contend in 2014? The team may go in a variety of different directions in free agency along with the draft.
They could not use the tag instead of fellow defensive end Everson Griffen, who is six years younger than Allen. The transition tag is also possible for Griffen, who wants to stay in Minnesota. The key is whether or not the value of having Allen on the team is more important than the money he is going to cost to keep. Right now, the defense is in dire need of help in the secondary.
That $12 million that would go to Allen may be better suited to go towards a defensive back or safety in free agency or picking up two or three quality draft picks. This decision is likely going to come sooner than later and then the full offseason plan for the Vikings may be a little less cloudy than it presently is. Zimmer is known for solid defensive teams and that’s why the Allen decision is one that could take a little extra time to figure out.