Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jared Allen signing questioned by some.

As a Vikings fan I was extremely thrilled with the trade the club made with the Kansas City Chiefs for DE Jared Allen. Granted, Allen has had some off-field issues. Since 2002, Allen has been arrested for drunk driving three times. He received a four-game suspension by the NFL for the beginning of the 2007 season, a penalty that was eventually reduced to two games.

With the huge contract doled out to the troubled Allen, columnist Jemele Hill sees some inconsistencies in the Vikings’ thought process.

How can the Vikings justify inking Allen, who has been arrested multiple times for drunk driving, to a $74 million deal ($31 million guaranteed) when in 2006 they released wide receiver Koren Robinson because of the same problem?

Simple. The Vikings signed Robinson as a reclamation project after he was cut by the Seattle Seahawks at the conclusion of the 2004 season. They figured a change of scenery would be a significant factor in Robinson’s recovery. Does that mean the Vikings organization should cease with the high risk, high reward transactions just because they’ve been burned before? Besides, the Vikings acknowledged their mistake, especially after Robinson’s drunken 100 MPH jaunt through St. Peter, MN in August 2006. As such, they did their due diligence when exploring a trade for Allen.

The deal took nearly two months to complete. (Head Coach Brad) Childress said the Vikings did an exhaustive background search on Allen to make sure the significant investment was prudent.

"He's a guy that readily acknowledges his past," Childress said. "I think he is ready to have a positive influence on this team and on this organization, both on and off the field."

Robinson claimed he had a new lease on life after signing with the Vikings. As it turned out, his struggles clearly weren’t behind him. Meanwhile, Allen has also pledged to leave his past behind. I think he deserves the same benefit of the doubt Robinson received upon his 2005 signing.


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