The NFL’s trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and the Denver Broncos haven’t made any indications that there are going to be any moves in Dove Valley this year.
That being said, the Broncos could very well be in the market for an upgrade, because why wouldn’t they be?
This roster is loaded but has still shown some signs of weakness this year, and one area where they are clearly not the same is the pass rush department. The Broncos aren’t doing poorly rushing the passer, as evidenced by their 16 hits on Robert Griffin III in the week eight win. However, with Von Miller easing back to form after his suspension and a potential Super Bowl in the balance, I think there’s no reason why the Broncos shouldn’t give a call to the Vikings about superstar pass rusher Jared Allen.
Allen is in the final year of his contract with the Vikings, and he’s getting paid $14 million this season. With seven games in the books for the Vikings, Allen is due just over $7 million the rest of the season, a figure which the Broncos would leave the Broncos very little wiggle room under the cap if a trade is indeed made.
What the Broncos would have to do is send the Vikings back either an expiring contract and a pick (holy basketball trade jargon) or potentially sweeten the pick in the deal and simply have the Vikings absorb some of Allen’s cap number.
Such a trade wouldn’t be overly difficult to come up with in theory, but these things are far easier said than done.
NFL reporter Jay Glazer reported on Sunday morning that the Vikings would require ‘at least’ a third round pick for Allen, and when I read that I was taken aback. Why would the Vikings be willing to trade Jared Allen for a third round pick?
Well, the fact of the matter is, a guy like Allen getting paid so much money and in the final year of a contract isn’t going to command a huge deal for a rental that could wind up being a maximum of 12 games for some team.
What would it take to get an Allen deal done? Well, for the Broncos it might not be as simple as 1, 2, 3, but I think they could get creative and make something happen.
Scenario One: Allen/Cap relief for a 2nd round pick
This would probably be the easiest way for the Broncos to consummate a trade. Giving up a second round pick seems like a steep price, but if Denver ended up winning a Super Bowl it wouldn’t matter to anyone in the least.
If the Vikings were willing to absorb half of Allen’s remaining contract, the Broncos would have to consider this deal. It would set the Broncos up to pay Allen less than $4 million this season, and it would give the Vikings an additional second round pick in next year’s draft.
Not a bad trade for both teams if you ask me.
Scenario Two: Allen for Tony Carter, 3rd round pick
I’m just spit-balling ideas here, but the Broncos are very deep at cornerback and Tony Carter has been a gameday inactive for a couple of games. The Vikings could use a boost in the secondary and Carter could probably get into their rotation pretty quickly.
Scenario Three: Allen for a 3rd round pick, Conditional 2015 pick
Obviously Allen is a free agent after this season, so the Broncos could give them what they are asking for in a third round pick and then if they have plans to bring him back after this year, offer a conditional 2015 pick based on whether or not he re-signs.
Just another idea to float out there.
Either way, if the Broncos make a trade for Allen, they are going to have to move someone on the roster. That shouldn’t be much of a problem but this seems pretty clear–the Vikings are willing to deal Allen to another team, he wants to be part of a contender, and the Broncos could find a spot for him in their rotation. If there’s one thing John Fox and Jack Del Rio love, it’s defensive backs and defensive linemen.
Make it happen, John Elway. Make it happen.