Jared Allen is expected to leave the Twin Cities still property of the Kansas City Chiefs, but that doesn't mean the Vikings' hopes of landing the Pro Bowl defensive end are finished.
Allen spent a second full day at Winter Park on Saturday meeting with team officials, but NFL rules put a 48-hour limit on such visits. The Vikings will continue discussions with Allen's agent, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, and trade talks also are ongoing between the team and the Chiefs. Allen, meanwhile, is scheduled to visit with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early this week.
In a perfect world, from the Vikings' perspective, they would have eliminated the Buccaneers from this race by securing Allen's services during his time in the Twin Cities. Saturday night it didn't appear that would be possible, and Allen is expected to depart this morning.
The Chiefs have designated Allen as their franchise player -- that tag would earn him $8.8 million next season, the average salary of the NFL's five highest-paid defensive ends -- but Allen wants out of Kansas City and is allowed to talk with other teams. The Chiefs, though, are entitled to compensation.
Allen, who led the NFL with 15.5 sacks last season despite missing two games, arrived in Minnesota from San Jose on Thursday evening aboard the private plane of Vikings owner Zygi Wilf. Allen and agent Ken Harris spent Friday and Saturday at the team's facility with Harris handling negotiations on a contract that is sure to make the standout one of the league's highest-paid players.
Harris did not return phone calls or e-mail messages on Saturday.
The Vikings have offered Kansas City their first-round pick (No. 17 overall) in next weekend's draft as well as one of their two third-round selections. Those picks fall at No. 73 and No. 82 overall, with the first one having been acquired in a trade last year with the Denver Broncos.
Carl Peterson, who serves as Chiefs president, chief executive officer and general manager, is known in league circles as an extremely tough negotiator and could be looking for more in return
The rebuilding Chiefs, coming off a 4-12 season, would have five of the first 73 picks in the draft if they obtained the Vikings' top pick as well as their first selection in round three. The Buccaneers reportedly are willing to part with their first-round pick, but that might not be as attractive to the Chiefs because it comes three picks after the Vikings' selection.
Meanwhile, an interesting story in the Kansas City Star on Saturday spelled out a big part of the reason Allen no longer wants to play for the Chiefs.
Talking to a columnist from the paper in December, Allen expressed his frustration about not receiving a long-term contract from the franchise. There also is the issue of his strained relationship with Peterson, the result of the Chiefs executive calling Allen "a young man at risk" after Allen was convicted of drunken driving twice in 2006.
That led to Allen, now 26, being suspended for the first two games of 2007 -- he made his regular-season debut in the Chiefs' 13-10 victory over the Vikings and had two sacks, eight tackles, two pass deflection, three quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.
Allen has said that he quit drinking.
"I made mistakes," he told the Star's Joe Posnanski. "But I paid for those mistakes. I've given everything I have for this team. I didn't hold out like [running back] Larry [Johnson did last season]. I didn't demand to renegotiate. I'm a big believer in loyalty. But the Chiefs ..."
As for the possibility of a fresh start, Allen told the paper: "I love this town [Kansas City]. The people here are great. The fans are the best. But ... I'm excited about going somewhere new. I'm looking at this as a new challenge. I mean, it would be really cool to go play somewhere else, like a new adventure."