With two run stopping Pro Bowlers, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, in the middle of their defensive line, the Vikings led the league against the run last year. However, due to their lack of pass rush, they were also last in the league against the pass.
To correct this, Minnesota went out and pulled the trigger on a trade that landed them the league's reining sack leader, Jared Allen.
In the trade they surrendered their first round pick, no. 17 overall, their two third rounders, and swapped their sixth rounders with the Chiefs. They also made Allen the league's highest paid defensive player ever when they signed him to a six year deal that could be worth up to $74 million if incentives are reached, with $31 million guaranteed.
Just four years ago, Allen was a fourth round supplemental pick coming out of Division I-AA, Idaho State. At that time, he was projected to be not much more than a long snapper/special teams player. Since that time, Allen worked his way into the starting lineup and in the past four seasons recorded 43 sacks, second only to former Defensive Player of the Year Jason Taylor.
The bold move puts Minnesota obviously into a win now mode. Suring up their defensive line, the Vikings also went out and signed safety Madieu Williams, their division rival Bears best receiver, Bernard Berrian, and brought in fullback Thomas Tapeh to block for arguably the leagues best running back, Adrian Peterson.
On the Kansas City side, the Chiefs get much needed cap relief, and were able to turn a fourth round pick into a first rounder and two third rounders. The move gives the Chiefs a stockpile of draft picks, 13 altogether to work with in this weekend's draft.
With so many needs to fill, offensive line, cornerback, receiver, and maybe quarterback, Kansas City needed this flexibility. There are plenty of different directions they can go in this weekend. The Chiefs can get a pass rusher right back on Saturday if they decide to go with Ohio State's Vernon Gholston, or highly touted Virginia's Chris Long. They also might decide on putting a package together to land BC's Matt Ryan, the drafts top quarterback, if they decide to give up on slow developing Brodie Croyle.
This trade seems like it is going to work out well for all sides involved. After coming off an 8-8 season and barely missing the playoffs, Minnesota has to believe the NFC North division is theirs for the taking due to Brett Farve's "retirement," the Bears continuing struggles, and the lowly Lions. Kansas City is clearly in rebuilding mode, and the best way to rebuild is clearly through the draft.
In closing, I would just like to congratulate the league's highest paid defensive player ever, Jared Allen.....Unreal.