The Vikings made the biggest move in the NFL Draft last season without the help of drafting a single player.
Jared Allen had fallen out of touch with the Kansas City Chiefs. He tried to get a contract extension, but it didn't fall through. The Chiefs designated him the franchise player hoping to either get a deal done that would favor each side or get some draft picks for him.
Jared Allen wanted to get a deal done and loved the fans of Kansas City. If he had his way at the time, he would have liked to retire a member of the Chiefs organization.
As it turns out, the Chiefs couldn't find a contract that Allen liked, so draft picks seemed to be the more logical approach. Well, they got their draft picks on Apr. 22 in the form of a first-round pick and two third-round picks from the Minnesota Vikings.
Allen had a terrible history with alcohol and had been suspended by the league in 2007. He entered a substance abuse program which has saved not only his life, but probably his career in the NFL.
On the day of the trade, there were mixed reactions by Kansas City fans. Some were furious that they let this young phenom go while other were happy. "We got draft picks and rid ourselves of a clubhouse cancer," proclaimed some Kansas City fans. Others merely shouted, "FIRE PETERSON!"
The young Kansas City star was a former fourth round draft pick out of Idaho State. The Chiefs didn't expect much out of him other than to appear in special teams and maybe be a long snapper for a while.
Good thing this guy made the roster, huh? Allen went on to start 10 games for Kansas City and totaled nine sacks. He followed his amazing rookie season with 11, 7.5, and 15.5 sacks the next three years, respectively in Kansas City. He earned his first Pro Bowl with Kansas City his final year.
Why couldn't they get a deal done? To all you Chiefs fans, here's the true answer: Allen wanted money and the Chiefs had Carl Peterson running the show, enough said.
I had one Chiefs fan even tell me, "Why didn't we trade Peterson for a seventh round pick? At least we could have kept Jared." I found this quite amusing. Oddly enough, many, if not all Chiefs fans would agree.
On the other side of the spectrum, Minnesota Vikings fans were ecstatic, chanting at the top of their lungs, "We're going to the Super Bowl!" Unfortunately, it didn't end up with a Super Bowl victory, not even an appearance. They won the division, but that's as far as they would go.
The moment Jared Allen got off the plane in Minnesota, two men were waiting to pick him up. Those men happened to be two of the best defensive tackles in the game, Pro Bowlers Kevin and Pat Williams. The three of them knew at that moment they would be unstoppable, and for the most part, they were.
Looking back at the trade, was it worth it for both sides?
Kansas City landed offensive tackle Branden Albert with the fifteenth overall pick acquired through he Vikings, moving up two spots via the Detroit Lions to get him. The two third round picks from the Vikings turned into running back Jamaal Charles and strong safety DaJaun Morgan.
The Vikings received, well, Jared Allen.
Branden Albert started all but one game for the Chiefs at left tackle. He had an injury to his foot that caused him to miss only one game. It was a ligament injury which is something he had dealt with before. Doctors immediately said he could miss up to six weeks, but made an incredible recovery.
He is tough, there's no question. His only knock other than injuries is his playing style. Fans criticized this guys strength which is sort of a requirement for an NFL lineman, but it will improve. His upright style makes it easier for speedy defensive ends to go underneath his massive frame.
He is better suited to play guard, but made a nice transition. Expect him to do well next season!
As for Jamaal Charles, he's the backup to the backup. He didn't see a lot of time last season, but he did show tremendous potential. He may not be a number one back next season or even the season after, but it could very well happen one day. He finished his rookie season with 357 yards rushing, averaging over five yards per carry.
He also pulled in 27 receptions for 272 yards and one touchdown. He also returned kicks, but nothing special. Just wait for the chance Charles. You could be great!
The last of the three draft picks given to the Chiefs from the Vikings was used on safety DaJaun Morgan. He didn't see hardly any time on the defense but played a key role in special teams. He totaled 23 tackles. Don't expect him to do anything for a few years.
There's no doubt in my mind that these three players could one day be great. Overall, the Chiefs made an amazing trade.
On the other side, there's Jared Allen. Upon his arrival, he signed at the time a record contract for a defensive player at six years and approximately $74 million if incentives are met.
He racked up yet another monster year, this time for the Vikings. Allen finished his rookie season with the Vikings totaling 14.5 sacks, tied for the most ever by a Vikings' player in his first full season with the team.
He also recorded three forced fumbles and two safeties. The 2008 season resulted in Allen's second Pro Bowl appearance as well as his second nomination for first team All Pro.
The Chiefs took a fourth-round draft pick from Idaho of all places and made him into one of the premier defensive ends in the game. They then turned that fourth-round pick into a first-round pick and two third-round picks. That's pretty good, huh? Not many teams can say they that!
Looking at the trade, the Chiefs acquired a decent right tackle, a talented backup running back, and a special teams contributor. The Vikings got their defensive end that they desperately needed. This trade worked out for the better across the board.
The Chiefs are in rebuilding mode with one of the younger teams in the NFL. They have made some good choices that last two seasons. With a new quarterback at the helm, I expect them to make a lot of noise next season!
The Chiefs are my pick to be the Dolphins of 2008, maybe even slightly better!
To all you Vikings fans who think this was too much for a trade, let me put it this way. The Vikings traded a slightly modified Ryan Cook, Maurice Hicks, and Hussain Abdullah for a future Hall of Famer.
Sorry, but I'll take this trade any day of the week.
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