The NFL trade deadline, though delayed two weeks than what it had previously been in years past, is rapidly approaching.
The play of the Denver Broncos’ defense is rapidly declining.
Since the team put on a show in the 2012 season as arguably the most complete team in the entire league, the Broncos have been a bit more like Swiss cheese in 2013 than the stout D they put together just a year ago.
Those two facts–the deadline and the play of the defense deteriorating–lead me to believe that the Broncos need to consider making a splash with a player addition defensively.
Namely, I think the Broncos need to make a move for Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings, like a few other teams in this league, are on a sinking ship, going nowhere fast, and they need draft picks with which to rebuild.
The Broncos are team ready to win now that won’t be picking in the top 25 of any of the next two or three NFL Drafts.
Therefore, draft picks are expendable in Denver, especially if you can secure an asset like Jared Allen. Here’s the skinny:
Allen is in the final year of a contract with the Minnesota Vikings, making $14 million. By the time the trade deadline hits, he will have played in seven games and will be owed the remainder of his contract, which would be nine more games. The math may not be exact, but that would leave Allen with roughly $7.875M if you do a literal per game remaining pay scale.
The Broncos’ cap situation is fluid, but they have flexibility and obviously they would have to make a corresponding roster move to allow Allen’s contract to fit in the team’s immediate plans.
Also, any trade for Allen would have to be made under the assumption that there is a chance he could stay past this year. The Broncos have a lot of players with expiring contracts over the next couple of years, but maybe Allen would be willing to settle for a market deal with a contender like Denver similar to the deals guys like Connor Barwin, Paul Kruger, and Cliff Avril received this past year.
It’s not completely unrealistic to think it could happen.
What would the Broncos have to give up, you might ask? Well, that’s the tough part. You’d think the Vikings would want nothing less than a second round pick for their prized pass rusher, and I would say that’d be a pretty fair price, even though Allen could bolt after this year.
It’s a big price to pay, but a very worthwhile one.
The Broncos’ defense misses Elvis Dumervil, and with Von Miller slowly easing into form it’s not making things easier. Denver doesn’t have that elite pass rush it had a season ago, even if the numbers might be similar.
The Broncos’ cap situation isn’t overly friendly, but it is flexible. Denver has reportedly around $6.7 million in available cap space, so you’d obviously have to do some tinkering around with contracts currently on the roster if you wanted Jared Allen wearing orange this season.
It might be a pipe dream for Broncos fans, but it’s not out of the realm of realism and the Broncos could make it work. It would be yet another bold move by John Elway, who hasn’t made any drastic trades involving high draft picks so far in his tenure as the lead man in the Broncos’ front office.
The Broncos had in former Bears, Patriots, and Bills pass rusher Mark Anderson for a workout this week, and reportedly they liked what they saw. Perhaps the team didn’t sign him immediately because they wanted to see what they could get–if anything–at the trade deadline.
Making a move for Allen would be yet another in a long line of big moves for the Broncos, who have gone out and gotten Peyton Manning and Wes Welker from conference rivals.
So far, the results have been fun to watch but in one try, no dice for the Broncos in the playoffs. Going after Jared Allen might be just the move John Elway needs to make to get this team in position for a deep playoff run.
So why not give it a shot?