Jared Allen wants a ring, unlikely to re-sign with Vikings
"To be real honest, I'm going to have to take a look at the situation of this team," Allen told USA Today. "If I continue to play, you want to try to win a championship at some point. Personal accolades can only go so far... Minnesota will always be in my heart, but I don't know what the future holds. We haven't talked about it. I'm trying not to think about it."
Despite his admiration for the city that has brought him so much success over the past six years, Allen looks to be prioritizing a shot at a Super Bowl ring. If that is truly what tops his wish list, the Vikings are not the right fit. While their offensive line is strong and their running back is an all-time great, the quarterback situation in Minnesota is a mess. The 2-8 squad very well may target a signal caller at the top of the draft this offseason, sparking a rebuilding period which no decorated veteran wants to sit through. In addition to the quarterback situation, the defense (which ranks 32nd in scoring this year) also needs to be revamped.
Allen will likely hit the free agent market in the offseason, and plenty of suitors will check in on the four-time All-Pro. Every team could always use an additional pass rusher, and having led the league in sacks twice in his career, Allen can certainly apply pressure to the quarterback.
It is worth noting, however, that Allen is having his worst season - as far as sacks - since 2006, when he was still an under-the-radar fourth-round pick playing in his third season. He has 5.0 sacks through ten games with 22 quarterback hurries in 2013. He has been very much up and down, dominating one game then disappearing the next, but he would certainly still be a desirable piece for any team with their sights set on the Super Bowl.
As for the Vikings, they have little reason to sign a veteran to a big contract, as they are about to make some serious renovations to their roster and could even be in for a coaching change. The team just signed 30-year-old defensive end Brian Robison to a four-year extension, so bringing back Allen would give them two 30+ ends who may be past their primes by the time the rest of the roster is filled out with Super Bowl-caliber talent. I'm sure that the Vikings would not mind bringing back a productive fan favorite, but it is certainly not a necessary move.
It will be interesting to see where Allen ends up landing over the offseason, because as of now, it looks very unlikely that he'll be back in Minnesota. People will probably make a lot of connections to the Kansas City Chiefs, the team that drafted Allen. However, the Chiefs have two stellar pass rushers on the edges of their 3-4 defensive front, and Allen is best suited for a 4-3 defensive end role. Some other speculative possibilities include the Cincinnati Bengals, who will likely let Michael Johnson walk in free agency, or the Dallas Cowboys, whose franchise defensive end Anthony Spencer underwent microfracture knee surgery this year.