With NFL Free Agency in full swing, the Oakland Raiders pre-draft roster is beginning to take shape. They have solidified the trenches. Added a much needed productive veteran to the wide receiver room. Swapped veteran corner backs and are still looking for ways to improve the team.
Which brings me to the focus of this article, Jared Allen. He has never had less than 7.5 sacks in a season. He has had 11 or more sacks in 7 straight seasons. In 10 years he has missed 3 games, none in the last 6 seasons. Marinate on that. In 2013 he had half a sack less than 2012, but had 7 more tackles and 3 more batted balls. The guy is not declining, will be 32 this April and could easily play 4 more years. Now imagine him rushing along side Justin Tuck and Lamar Woodley. Being kept fresh via a solid d-line rotation/scheme with Tuck, Woodley, Antonio Smith, Ryan Robinson, Jack Crawford, Stacy McGee, Ricky Lumpkin, Torell Troup, David Carter, Sio Moore and any other additions via the draft (Khalil Mack, Jadeveon Clowney?).
Jared reminds me a lot of Kevin Greene. After Kevin Greene’s tenth year in the NFL, he played 5 more years. He had double-digit sacks in 4 of those years, tallying 9 sacks in his 11th year in the NFL. I don’t see why Jared can’t do the same or come very close to it. As they both turned 32, Jared has one more season of NFL experience, so at a minimum, I would expect Jared to be able to play 4 more solid productive years in the NFL. If he averages 10 sacks over the next 4 years, he will pass Kevin Greene into 3rd in all-time sacks, behind only Reggie White and Bruce Smith (yea, we all know they were not keeping the sack stat till the 70’s, so the true leader is debatable).
So what would it cost to bring the Los Gatos High School Alum back to the Bay Area? Some reports say he’s looking for something along the lines of the contract Ware signed with Denver: 3 year, $30M ($16.5M fully guaranteed and an additional $6.5M guarantees on the 5th league day of 2015). I would offer Jared a 5yr/$40M deal. $10M signing bonus, base salaries of $8M 2014, $6M 2015, $6M 2016, $5M 2017, $5M 2018. That would put his cap#/dead money to cut at: 2014 $10M/$10M; 2015 $8M/$8M; 2016 $8M/$6M; 2017 $7M/$4M, 2018 $7M/$2M.
In the face of the NFL Offensive stats explosion, the old adage, Defense Wins Championships, was proven once again this past post season. A stout defense, especially a fierce front 7, coupled with a solid running game anchored by a tough O-line, allows a team to overcome the growing pains of a young Quarterback. Many have the Oakland Raiders selecting a QB in the first or second round, and bringing in an established veteran. Regardless, there is a good chance that Matt ‘Against All Odds’ McGloin beats out whomever they bring in. Just like he has done his entire football life, but that is a topic for another column.