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More Irresponsible Speculation

You all might be tired of hearing about this, but ever since the Vikings decided to give Jared Allen a $4 million dollar advance on his 2010 bonus, I just can’t stop wondering why they did it.

Most NFL insiders seem to agree that 2010 is destined to be an uncapped year, which is what makes Allen’s early bonus that much more curious.  The Vikings should not have to worry about cap space in 2010, so what are the possible benefits of stashing $4 million on 2009’s salary cap?

I recently theorized that perhaps the Vikings have their eye on Julius Peppers as an offseason target.  After all, they were thought to have interest in Peppers prior to him getting the franchise tag placed on him by Carolina.  After Peppers absolutely destroyed the Vikings offensive line this year, it is easy to imagine that the Vikings are one of about 32 NFL teams that would love to add him to their roster.

Peppers is a free agent after this season, but a player of his quality could very easily receive the franchise tag for multiple years in a row.  The cost of placing a franchise tag on a player is determined by taking the average salaries of the five highest paid NFL players at the specified position.

In this case, Jared Allen is a defensive end and so is Julius Peppers.  Jared Allen also happens to be one of the five highest paid ends in the league.  So, my theory centers around the idea that the Vikings gave Jared Allen an extra $4 million in an effort to drive up the cost that teams would have to dish out in order to franchise their soon-to-be free agent defensive ends.

I recently ran my theory past two of the savviest guys on the net, particularly when it comes to the business of NFL football, because I have been unable to independently verify that my theory makes sense.

Walter Cherepinsky of Walterfootball.com said that my theory seemed solid but that the Vikings are geniuses if they had the foresight to come up with such a plan.  I put my money on the genius part any time Vikings Vice President of Football Operation Rob Brzezinski is involved.  After all, he’s the guy that brought us Steve Hutchison using the genius that was the invention of the poison pill.

Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com also seemed to agree that my theory had some substance to it.  Florio, however, pointed out a flaw in my thinking.

The cost of applying a franchise tag is the average of the top five salaries OR it is a 120% increase of the player’s salary from the previous season, whichever is greater.

In the case of Julius Peppers, he made enough money in 2009 (over $16 million) that the franchise tag would be 120% of that figure should the Panthers choose to use it on him.

This doesn’t mean that the theory cannot apply to other high-caliber defensive ends that are due to become free agent this offseason.  Aaron Kampman, Kyle Vanden Bosch, and Elvis Dumerville could all be inserted into my theory just as easily as Peppers was, with the difference being that they made little enough in 2009 that Jared Allen’s salary increase will increase the price of their possible franchise tags.

One thing is for sure, the more I explore the details of my irresponsible speculation, the more convinced I am that the Vikings plan on signing a blue-chip defensive end during this year’s free agency period.

Soon enough, we may get another “tell” from the Vikings front office.  If the Vikings opt to not tender soon-to-be restricted free agent Ray Edwards, or if they tender him with only the second or third round lever, then I will be positive that the Vikings plan on making a run at a premier pass rusher like Aaron Kampman.

And don’t worry… I’ll keep you updated on my obsessions with trying to decode the Vikings Front Office.


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9 Responses to “More Irresponsible Speculation”

  1. Purple Charlie says:

    Adam, I couldn’t even imagine Peppers added into the line up, Wow. And I’m sure Aaron Kampman is sick of playing LB. Like you said, We will have to sit back and see what the Vikes do with Ray Edwards, Well that’s food for thought!!!

  2. Ole says:

    good article Adam, but I’m gonna blow it up

    taxes are the reason behind the $4 mil advance to Jared Allen

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/1476.html

    • Adam Warwas says:

      Hmm… that is interesting. And I’m no financial genious, but why would the Vikings only do this for Allen if this were the case? They have plenty of other big money guys that would benefit from the advance… why are they looking out for Allen’s tax benefits but nobody else’s?

  3. Ole says:

    I’m not a tax guy either Adam, but maybe Allen has hired a “Tax Genius” to look after his interests and he requested an advance.

    As for “why are they looking out for Allen’s tax benefits but nobody else’s” ….. life is not fair and not everyone is treated equally

  4. Ole says:

    I would be suspicious if the Vikes paid Dugan in advance

  5. CalVkg says:

    it’s probably some mundane, non-conspiritorial reason. don’t know what, but just sayin’

  6. wtfvikesfan says:

    I thought 2010 is capped at 110 or 115million. it has been setup already. thing is you can dump whomever you want without costing agnaist cap. 2011 will be uncapped in no agreement.

  7. He Hate Me says:

    With an uncapped year the Vikings are not in a position to sign any UFAs unless they lose one of their own and the salary the Vikings could give cannot be more than what their player received from another team.

    Free agency for the Vikings in 2010 will be virtually non existent with maybe only a couple of lower level signings.

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