Buccaneers could target Jared Allen in free agency

Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could continue their spending ways next offseason by targeting Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.

Jared Allen is likely to be a free agent next season, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be going after the superstar. The Minnesota Vikings lack talent, are likely to implement a new regime next year and an expensive 32-year old pass rusher wouldn't fit theirplans. That's where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could step in, according to Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

Bidding on Jared Allen would make sense. Despite a 3-8 record, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a supremely talented roster, with potential All-Pros at every level of the offense and defense. Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, Darrelle Revis, Mark Barron, Dashon Goldson, Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks and Doug Martin would provide a very solid basis for a championship run, and it's clear from the team's spending in recent years that that's what they expect to do, and soon. With the exception of Vincent Jackson, each of those players is in their prime or entering it, too.

From that perspective, the addition of Jared Allen to an already talent-laden defense would make a lot of sense. It would give the Bucs the kind of edge rusher they haven't had since Simeon Rice, and it would fill the one glaringly obvious hole on the roster, even if Allen will be 32 next season. He's still a destructive and capable pass rusher who put up a 22-sack campaign just two years ago and managed 12 sacks last year. If the five sacks this year are evidence of a decline, a big part of that decline has to be the lack of talent surrounding him. Superstar pass rushers tend to produce beyond their age-32 season, with John Abraham, Robert Mathis, Julius Peppers and James Harrison recent evidence of that fact.

Still, signing Allen would be risky. The Bucs have the cap space to pull it off, and they can easily create more if necessary, but they're not swimming in talent, either. Plus, the issue of a quarterback could limit them as well. Mike Glennon has improved the past two weeks, and he's doing a decent job of managing the offense, but he would likely be the limiting factor on a team that wants to make a championship push. If the Bucs draft a rookie quarterback, the same is likely to be true.

Then again, just getting to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season would be nice. And Allen certainly should be able to help with that.

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