Forgetting the Facts … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

It’s hard not to like Jared Allen.

The former Chiefs-now Vikings defensive end is the definition of gregarious. During most of his time with the Chiefs from being drafted in 2004 to be traded in the spring of 2008, he was the life of the party. There wasn’t a group of any kind that he couldn’t mingle with. He made friends with the wealthy tuxedo crowd and with the guys in flannel shirts, jeans and John Deere caps.

He ran with the bulls in Spain and hunted wild animals with nothing but a knife. He came back from one off-season with a new tattoo. It was the picture of a male deer with a big rack of horns and it was placed between his pubic area and belly button. The writing with the picture said: “All you can eat under a buck.”

That was Jared Allen. He was outrageous, he was funny, and he had a short-attention span. There was a time where he lost his starting job in training camp for a few days when Gunther Cunningham caught him staring at a plane flying high above the practice field in River Falls and had no idea what the defensive coordinator had just said.

Then in April 2008, he was gone. Allen was traded to Minnesota for draft choices that eventually became LT Branden Albert, RB Jamaal Charles and S DaJuan Morgan. With the Vikings, he signed a 6-year, $73.26 million deal that at the time was the biggest contract in NFL history for a defensive player.

From the uproar of his controversial departure through this week when he spoke with the Kansas City media in anticipation of Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium, Jared Allen continues to entertain.

When talking about his daughter (due in late October) and how he may handle things as a father when she’s 16 years old and the boys start showing up, he said:

“I’ve got a lot of guns, so it will be just fine hopefully.”

And there’s no doubt Allen misses Kansas City.

“It crosses my mind sometimes,” Allen said when asked if he ever thinks about what may have happened if he’d stayed in Kansas City. “I have nothing but great memories of my years there. The fans were great to me. The city was great to me. Unfortunately, the problems I had in Kansas City left a year after I did.”

Allen also continues to have lapses in his memory.

Jared and his agent established their villain three years ago – former GM Carl Peterson. In their view, Allen’s last moments in Kansas City and his departure was tied to Peterson. Allen again this week said he was lied to by the Chiefs and specifically Peterson about getting a new contract with the team.

“His name was Carl Peterson and you can write that in caps,” Allen said when asked to identify what his problem was with the Chiefs. “Obviously I must have had a problem with Clark (Hunt) too, because he chose Carl over me.

“When everything went down there, I just didn’t appreciate being lied too. I was told I was going to get an extension, and the way things played out, my biggest thing was I never lied to you guys, please don’t lie to me.”

Forgotten in Jared’s memory and his timeline is this – his lack of a new contract from the Chiefs was caused by many factors, but there were four that especially sealed the decision by the franchise to not sign him:

  • May 2002 arrest for driving under the influence in Pocatello, Idaho.
  • May 2006 arrest for driving under the influence in Leawood, Kansas.
  • September 2006 arrest for driving under the influence in Leawood, Kansas.
  • A four-game NFL suspension at the start of the 2007 season that was ultimately trimmed to two games.

Peterson called Allen “a player at risk” something that to this day bothers the defensive end.

“When you hear that, it’s tough to go and give your all for somebody like that,” Allen said.

Here’s the deal: in 2007 and even into 2008, Allen WAS a player at risk of finding himself in jail or out of football. One screw-up taught him nothing. A second time didn’t get through to him. Why would anyone at the time believe a third arrest was going to push Allen down the straight and narrow?

So a decision was made within the Chiefs franchise that he was not a good candidate to be given a lot of money with the expectation of responsible behavior. Complicating matters even more was when Allen allowed his name to be used at a restaurant-bar on Southwest Boulevard in late 2007. Any person with three DUI arrests and time spent in the Johnson County Jail and home confinement because of drinking and driving convictions should not be involved in any manner with an establishment where beer, wine and liquor were the major draw for patrons.

As much as Allen wants to paint one person as being against him, and as much as some fans and media think the Chiefs were ruled by one man when Peterson was in charge, he wasn’t pushed out the door only by the GM.

It was a move that everyone in the organization signed off on. Clark Hunt had no interest in paying $72 million for a player with Allen’s track record off the field. Head coach Herm Edwards and Player Personnel Director Bill Kuharich were convinced that Hunt was willing to rebuild his franchise through the draft. They wanted to go young and a player like Allen would bring a bounty in draft picks if he was traded. Only defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham initially voted against the deal, but eventually signed on when he understood the wealth of players that could come with a trade.

The Chiefs viewed Allen as a one-dimensional player – a pass rusher. Certainly, he’s been among the league’s best in that area over the last half-dozen seasons. But Jared Allen has never been a complete player at defensive end; he can be trapped, he has hard time breaking a double-team block and playing the run is not his desire.

As near as we know, Jared Allen has not allowed his drinking to become a problem during his time in Minnesota. As would have been expected, he was welcomed there with open arms and his personality won everyone over. Twin Cities authorities have always been willing to arrest professional athletes there on DUI charges so if he did have a misstep, it’s not the kind of place where it’s likely to get swept under the rug.

If it’s true that he’s turned his life around and away from hanging out in bars, then that’s a very good thing for Jared, his wife and that soon to arrive daughter.

But three years ago there was no guarantee that was going to be the case. After his second DUI arrest, Allen assured Peterson and the Chiefs that it would never happen again, that he had learned his lesson. He promised to change.

Then he was arrested again. If he wants to play the “I was lied to game” then it can be played right back at him – he broke a promise to the Chiefs organization about his behavior. What reason did they have to believe him at the end of 2007 when he started talking about how he was a changed man and the team shouldn’t hold his past against him? That was a severe case of Allen not living in reality and it was reflected in the way his agent tried to negotiate a contract with the team.

I’ve got to be honest here – I was against trading Jared Allen. I never think it’s a good thing for a bad team to trade away good players. To make something happen in the NFL a coach needs all the good players he can get. But I agree with the decision that Allen wasn’t worth $72 million in the circumstances of 2008; it would have been irresponsible to give him that type of money with his history. Maybe there were other alternatives or deals that could have been worked out but by then there was far too much history between the parties to be creative on a contract.

Certainly the Chiefs pass rush suffered in 2008 when the team set an NFL record for sacking futility with just 10 sacks and won just two games. That season, Allen had 14.5 sacks. But the Chiefs have gotten after the passer at great efficiency in the last two years, collecting 60 sacks while Allen had 25.5 sacks.

Ultimately, the deal was a win-win. An unhappy Allen got out of town and he had somebody throw $72 million in his direction. The Chiefs got several talented players through draft picks in the deal, although after Hunt pulled the rug out from under Edwards, the guys who made the decision did not get to enjoy the fruits of the trade. “I think Herm got the shaft there,” Allen said in providing his assessment.

Allen said this week he hopes the Arrowhead fans will not boo him too loud on Sunday. I doubt they will. He provided the franchise with valuable performances on the field over four years, and he helped the team by bringing players, especially Charles, to the team with his departure.

And some day, when he really matures, he’ll be able to acknowledge that just maybe, quite possibly, he had as much to do with his departure from Kansas City as that villain Carl Peterson.

17 Responses to “Forgetting the Facts … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • September 30, 2011  - Milkman says:

    Good article. It’s too bad the Chiefs didn’t stick to those same guns before giving all that money to Larry Johnson. Hind sight is always 20-20. I’ll bet Clark Hunt is still kicking himself for that one. It’s also starting to look like the big contract for Matt Cassel will not get the return they were hoping. Then there’s Tyson Jackson…. The point is, it’s always a gamble to hand out that kind of money cause you don’t know how each player will react to having it. I don’t blame The Hunt’s for the Jared Allen decision, but it’s a shame that he decided to grow up AFTER he left Kansas City. Who Knew?

  • September 30, 2011  - RW says:

    Good article. A companion poll question might be: All things considered, are the Chiefs better off today with Albert & Charles on the roster or should they have kept Jared Allen instead?

    Close call here but I lean toward having Albert/Charles.

  • September 30, 2011  - Dave Worthington says:

    Really good article Bob, I had almost forgotten all those off the field issues. You would have thought the KC Star writers would have at least mentioned it to keep things in perspective? This is why I had no trouble writing you a check for your “newsletter” you bring so much more info to the fans!

  • September 30, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Jared Allen is an exceptional player that the Chiefs drafted and developed. I’m sure they didn’t want to trade him at the time and your perspective points out the obvious flaw in his thinking. Maybe it took the third time to wake him up but the Chiefs felt they couldn’t take the risk and moved on obtaining a couple really good players in the deal. Jared has continued his success and seems to have straightened his life out. It was a good trade in the end for both parties. Good article Bob, thanks.

  • September 30, 2011  - the other dave says:


  • September 30, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Bob; Have you ever thought about if we had kept the 4-3 intact and kept Jared with Tamba on the other side and Dorsey and Kelly Gregg in the middle how good we might have been??? We “rarely” get any pressure on the QB and thats why guys like Fitzpatrick, Stafford and Rivers can put up big numbers on us.

  • September 30, 2011  - txchief says:

    What a wonderful read. This is the only article I’ve seen about the Jaren Allen situation that actually offers any insight into the factors that led to the trade other than accusing the the Chiefs of being “cheapskates.” I hated to see him go, but he couldn’t turn the team around on his own. The Chiefs needed young players to revitalize a roster that had grown extremely old under Vermeil. I don’t think I could have personally signed off on the kind deal that Allen wanted given his behavior. The fact that he’s still biter about the trade indicates that Jared still has some maturing to do.

  • September 30, 2011  - Niblick says:

    I agree with Bob’s assessment of the Allen trade. But his last statement regarding Peterson just shows the great afffinity he had with Carl. They worked together for twenty years, so I do understand it. I know he wishes he had a similiar relationship with Pioli. All of the media hates the secrecy of Pioli, but I think Bob in particular has never gotten over the relationship he had with Carl. I don’t think Pioli will ever change.

  • September 30, 2011  - Rick says:

    Jared Allen is a moron. If he were my son, I’d be mortified.

  • September 30, 2011  - napahank says:

    Great article. The only data I saw missed was WHAT would have happened if Allen had ONE more DUI. I think (after a four game suspension) it would have been a year long one. Am I right, and if so, that would have been devastating?

    I was on the fence for a trade until Allen hooked up with the bar. I could see another DUI coming. Getting out of KC and away from his local buddies probably saved his career and gave us two great draft choices…win/win.

  • September 30, 2011  - el cid says:

    Need to all move on. Just wish we did not keep coming up against people who delight in rubbing the Chiefs nose in it. Gailey, Gun, Norv (entire SD team except for Rivers, who tried to give us the game single-handedly), and now Allen. Talk about bad Karma.

  • September 30, 2011  - Blake says:

    Carl also made a choice, and that was between Larry Johnson and Jared Allen. In 2008 and still to this day I and I think almost all Chiefs fans would rather have given that huge contract to Allen over LJ. Jared Allen might have lied to Carl, but what Carl did, lying to Allen all year long was much much worse.

  • September 30, 2011  - aPauled says:

    I also recall Carl drafting Turk McBride on a reach in Rnd 2 in 2007 as insurance/leverage against Jared. The Chiefs obviously needed to start rebuilding the O-Line at the time and C Ryan Kalil was on the board…an ideal center piece to build around.

    Carl sacrificed the O-Line need to get the Turk. Turk turned out to be a turkey who sat behind Jared and Jimmy Wilkerson at DE. The O-line fell apart without new talent. Quite a blunder…that can also be traced back to Carl’s ego and mis-dealings with/around Jared Allen.

  • September 30, 2011  - pharmer says:

    Excellent article Bob. Thanks for the insights

  • October 1, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Jared Allen is a moron drunk. We got Jamaal Charles and Brandon Albert for his sorry A$$. One of the best trades in Chiefs history!

  • October 1, 2011  - ED J says:

    Good article Bob. Sad to see Jared go but at time he didn’t deserve new contract. Besides we got Charles and Albert out of it so I’m not going to complain. And Bob I think you left off Brandon Carr. Because we got 4 picks out of Jared Allen trade.

  • October 1, 2011  - Niblick says:

    I think we just switched positions in the 5th round with the Vikings as part of the trade. We actually didn’t get another pick.

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