There’s reason to believe the Vikings are set to pursue Cincinnati Bengals DE Michael Johnson in order to reunite new head coach Mike Zimmer with one of his favorite players.
That leaves the Bengals in need of another DE to bring in and try and help ease the loss of Johnson, who registered 18 sacks and 75 quarterback pressures over the past two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.
Allen, 32 in April, started all 16 games for the sixth consecutive season and didn’t miss a single game in his time with the Vikings.
After a slow start in 2013, Allen registered 6.5 sacks over the final five games and finished with 11.5. He’s still got enough in the tank to make an impact on a team like the Bengals where he won’t be able to the focus of opposing offenses like he was in Minnesota.
That’s because he’d be playing along the likes of Carlos Dunlap, Wallace Gilberry and hopefully a healthy Geno Atkins. But cam the Bengals afford Allen?
Looking at past examples of aging pass-rushers who hit free agency in their 30s, John Abraham last year is a great example.
The then-34-year-old Abraham was cut by the Atlanta Falcons after a 10-sack season before eventually signing a 2-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals for just $4.6 million over two years. He got 11.5 sacks with them last year and was a great value signing.
The Bengals could easily afford to pay Allen that kind of money, but he’ll likely command a little more given his younger age and having played four fewer season in the NFL.
Another one from last year to look at was the two-year deal worth $8.5 million that Osi Umenyiora got from the Falcons in his tenth NFL season. His previous campaign wasn’t as productive though, as had just six sacks in ’12 compared to Allen’s 12 sacks that year.
The Bengals will be hard-pressed to fins a player who can significantly reduce the loss of MJ, but if they could find a way to sign Allen, it’d go a long way in doing just that.