The New England Patriots have been in the process of upgrading the pass rush for a while now. It’s better than it was just a couple of years ago, but they still could use another dependable edge rusher. With free agency set to begin, adding a defensive end like Jared Allen could do just that.
Allen, who has been one of the most productive pass rushers in the NFL for several years now, was expected to be available on the open market this spring. Now that the Minnesota Vikings have inked Everson Griffen to a long-term deal, Allen has played his last game in a Vikings uniform for sure.
The Patriots don’t want to break the bank for any of their free agent signings this offseason — that much we can be certain of. But Allen is the kind of veteran who might be willing to take a little less money to join a team that has a chance to compete for a championship. While not the elite pass rusher he once was, Allen could still help the team as long as he comes at a reasonable price.
New England finished tied for 20th in total sacks last year, a number that has to increase for a team that wants to squeeze one more title out of the Tom Brady era. Rob Ninkovich is one of the most underrated players in the league right now, and Chandler Jones is on his way to being one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.
If Allen still has enough left in the tank to match his 11.5 sacks last year and comes at a discounted price because he wants to play on a contender, his addition could put them in the top half of the team sack list next season — and hopefully back at the top of the standings.