When the Minnesota Vikings acquired defensive end Jared Allen in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs, they signed Allen to a new contract worth up to $74 million over six years, with $31 million guaranteed. At the time, some people thought the Vikings overpaid.
But Michael Strahan says he’s watched Allen closely this season, and he tells Sean Jensen of the Pioneer Press that Allen might be underpaid.
“You look at Jared and all the free agents,” Strahan said. “Very rarely do you get a guy now, you look and you go, ‘He’s worth every penny. Could have paid him more and not felt bad about it.’ He is that guy.”
Allen is second in the league with 10.5 sacks this season, and Strahan thinks Allen has a chance of breaking Strahan’s own NFL single-season sack record. But Strahan says Allen does more than just rush the passer.
“I think early in his early career, he worked hard but he wasn’t the best run stopper,” Strahan says. “He was more of a pass rusher. But he’s really worked really hard at his run stopping, and it’s really showing. Now you leave him on the field for four downs.
“That’s a compliment. Most people say, ‘Look at how many sacks he has.’ If you can focus on one thing, that’s easy. The tough thing is to be a guy who is out there every down.”
Strahan’s final, record-setting sack was gift-wrapped by Allen’s current teammate, Brett Favre, but Strahan told Jensen he thinks people make too big a deal of that.
“It wasn’t that important. It doesn’t really matter,” Strahan said. “I don’t hang my hat on records.”