Easy Choice For Jared Allen?February 20th, 2014
Where would you want to play, Jacksonville, Oakland or Tampa?
That’s a scenario spelled out for nearly-free-agent (18 days) defensive end Jared Allen on NFL.com.
Analyst Elliot Harrison only sees those three cities as plausible potential landing spots for Allen.
Tampa Bay needs an edge rusher in the worst way. New coach Lovie Smith has no problem playing veterans, and Allen would give the defense enough of a boost to shorten the amount of time an already strong secondary has to cover. The Buccaneers should have $10 million or so to play with, and while that will not be enough for, say, Greg Hardy (should he hit the open market), it could allow them to add someone like Allen. The Jaguars, who will have nearly three times as much cap room, have needed a pass rush of any kind for a long time. But after bringing in the likes of Aaron Kampman and Jason Babin over the past few years, it would be nice for the team to target someone younger than Allen.
What intrigued Joe here is that if those are really going to be the options for Allen, then how could he not come Tampa?
The defensive talent here is superior to what’s in Oakland and Jacksonville, plus Tampa has Allen’s friend Leslie Frasier in place as defensive coordinator and a defense-first head coach with an excellent reputation in Lovie Smith. It’s almost a no-brainer.
Allen also would have to like his odds of landing in the Hall of Fame finishing his career strong alongside Gerald McCoy freeing him up for sacks.
Perhaps the Bucs have other ideas to generate an improved pass rush. But their first big chance to do it comes March 11. If they move fast, the Bucs probably could have Allen that night. It would be a safe move for a proven guy, one who’s also known as a hell of a citizen.