A league source told Packer Report on Monday that former Minnesota Vikings star Jared Allen has listed the Green Bay Packers as one of his preferred destinations.
Allen, a four-time All-Pro, ranks second among active players with 128.5 sacks. He's recorded at least 11 sacks in seven consecutive seasons, including 11.5 in 2013. He's posted 16 career sacks against the Packers in 13 career games, though none came in this year's matchups.
His talent and motor are undeniable. However, Allen will turn 32 in April and just completed his 10th season in the league. While he remains a top-notch pass rusher, his run defense has declined. At 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, he seems to be a square peg in a round hole in terms of where he would fit in the Packers' 3-4 scheme. Other than serving as a rusher in passing situations, how effective could Allen be as a two-gapping defensive end in the base defense?
According to the source, the Buccaneers, Patriots and Giants are among the other teams on Allen's list.
The Buccaneers, ultimately, would appear to be the best fit, though they're in rebuilding mode. Lovie Smith is Tampa Bay's new coach, and Smith hired former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier to serve as his defensive coordinator. Allen's familiarity with Frazier's 4-3 style makes that potential marriage a natural. While, the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud said on his radio show that Allen is not in the Buccaneers' plans, the source said the Bucs indeed are interested.
Perhaps Allen's wish list — and Green Bay's inclusion on it — is a way to drive up his price for a potential fifth suitor, such as the Broncos, who have been linked to Allen. The Packers are $28.9 million under the cap, with the Broncos $27.1 million, Buccaneers $23.7 million, the Giants $22.2 million and Patriots $14.8 million. (Update: The Dolphins, at $33.9 million under the cap, are a strong contender, as well, and might wind up his final destination.)
The Packers, Broncos, Giants and Patriots all offer Allen the chance to win. He hasn't won a playoff game since 2009, when former Packers quarterback Brett Favre guided the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.