Charter Member of the Sub-Media

June 19, 2007

Allen Blinks First « Kansas City Chiefs »

This is actually something I wrote a few weeks ago for Chiefs Coalition, but never got around to posting here.

I'll be doing more in training camp, and even more once the season starts again. There's just not that much news right now.

After all the smoke and thunder, Allen did not miss an hour of team practice for veterans.

Allen signed his one-year qualifying tender for $2.35 million dollars in time to report for duty at the Chiefs' first OTA (Organized Team Activities). By doing so, Allen caved on an earlier vow to not sign until right before summer training camp. More importantly, Allen signaled that his previous hard-line stance was likely nothing more than posturing for a better contract.

Allen said the right things to cover his tracks. "That's the reason I'm back," said Allen.. "I told coach Edwards, 'Let's not get this mistaken. I'm back for my teammates and for you.' There is no other reason."

Such a statement provides a convenient excuse for Allen to do exactly what Carl Peterson wants him to do: put the team, and winning, ahead of his own desire for a big contract.

By characterizing the issue as a dispute with team management, Allen is apparently trying to preserve his status as a "Blue-collar" fan favorite and not be labeled as a money-seeking malcontent. This allows him to keep the door open for signing a long-term contract with the Chiefs if he performs well next season.

Allen lost a great deal of leverage in his contract negotiations by getting a second DUI, and his agent wanted to try to regain some lost ground. It would have been a horrible tactical decision by Allen to sign a contract after the DUI charge but before the suspension, when the situation is most uncertain. Requesting a trade, refusing to sign the contract, and announcing his intent to refuse to sign the qualifying tender until summer training camp were all tactical delaying moves designed to increase Allen's leverage.

It may have been unlikely another team would offer the Chiefs a 1st and 3rd round pick to acquire the rights to Allen, but you don't know unless you try. It was certainly unlikely Carl Peterson would cave in and give Allen the huge contract he hoped for, but again, it didn't hurt to try. When push came to shove, Allen did what was right for the team, for the fans, for the coach, for himself... he gave in to Carl Peterson's requirements.

If Allen gets at least 8 sacks this season, forces at least 3 fumbles, and keeps his nose extremely clean, he will be offered an incentive-laden contract that will pay him commensurately with his performance. However, very little of it will be guaranteed, so that the costs of another mistake by Allen will not punish the Chiefs. This dispute will be forgotten, and Jared Allen will be a Chief until his career ends, whether that end is from age or social mistakes.

Posted by Nathan at 08:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)