The NFL offseason is here and starting today, teams can franchise tag players and keep free agents from hitting the market next month. One of the teams looking at possibly using the franchise tag are the Minnesota Vikings, who have Jared Allen set to exit stage right into free agency and likely another uniform in 2014.
Ben Goessling from ESPN.com considers if the Vikings should use the franchise tag on Allen or if the team is better off letting him walk. While the answer seems obvious, Goessling points out that nothing is certain until Allen hits the market.
By using the franchise tag on Allen, the Vikings could get themselves one more year with Allen, keeping their defensive line together and giving new coach Mike Zimmer another proven pass rusher. However, the guess here is they won’t.
While Vikings fans would love to have Allen back in 2014, it seems much more likely that the team will move on from him. Mike Zimmer loves pass rushers but he’s not going to overpay to retain Allen. Now, just because the franchise tag isn’t used doesn’t mean a return to Minnesota is out of the question for Allen.
But a return would come at far less a price than the franchise tag for Allen is worth, and he’s likely to get a bigger contract elsewhere in the league.