I didn’t anticipate the Darren Sproles move since I was thinking in too linear a fashion. He’s a RB. The Eagles are already deep there. Why add an old guy? The Eagles know that Sproles lined up outside the backfield almost 40 percent of the time in 2013 so they looked at him as an offensive weapon and not just a RB. Smart move by them. Dumb by me.
So I was reading Twitter this morning and saw that Jared Allen is still sitting on the market with seemingly little interest. I’ve killed the idea of going after him a few times because he’s a 4-3 guy. But is that me being too linear again?
Jared Allen is a pass rusher. He’s got 10 years under his belt and had double digit sacks in 8 of those years. For the past 7 seasons, he’s been in double figures. That is amazing consistency. The guys knows how to get to the QB. How can you not at least think about him for a minute?
The downside is that he’ll turn 32 in less than a month. He has played in a pretty traditional 4-3 for most of his career so all he knows is lining up at RDE and flying off the edge. He also has benefited from playing in a dome. Most of his sacks come at home. Offenses have to limit what they do with the snap count and that gives him an edge. Allen is still a good pass rusher on the road, but he’s not the same guy.
Allen is highly frustrated right now, as he should be. I still can’t believe the Broncos went for DeMarcus Ware over him. Ware is a 3-4 guy who has injury issues. Allen is a 4-3 pass rushing machine. He would seem to be perfect for Denver, yet they passed on him. Allen has even talked about retiring.
How would he fit on the Eagles? I don’t really know exactly, but we can speculate. You’d have to start Cole at ROLB, but you could use Allen at RDE in all 4-man DL looks. You could also put him at RDE in the 3-3-5 looks. That would mean being very situational, which I’d like to see more of. Seattle didn’t play the same guys all they time. They mixed personnel. That can be negated by the no-huddle, but I think it is worth the risk to do more than the Eagles did in 2013.
Allen isn’t looking for mega-bucks, but he won’t play for peanuts. I don’t know if creating some hybrid role would be worth giving him decent money. Again, this is all just random speculation. I just hate seeing a talented pass rusher sitting there on the market. You can never have too many of those guys on the roster. The Eagles got burned in 2011 when they had Nnamdi, Asante and DRC and there weren’t the right roles for those guys, but I think this would be different. CBs tend to be prima donnas. Trent Cole is the antithesis of that. So is Connor Barwin. I don’t know Allen well, but the image you see on TV is that of a guy that isn’t all about “me and I”. He seems like the kind of guy who could be happy in an odd situation, as long as he was getting a chance to hit QBs and win some games.
I doubt anything happens with the Eagles, but I do want to learn from the Sproles situation. Sometimes we get too caught up in specific labels. If a guy is really talented and versatile, you can find a way to use him. The problem here is that Allen doesn’t appear to be all that versatile so that may be why the Eagles haven’t talked to him at all.