The Green Bay Packers have enjoyed a long run at (or near) the top of the NFC North and their divisional rivals are trying anything to knock Green Bay off of their perch, particularly the Minnesota Vikings.
It’s been a running joke amongst Packers fans for some time now that Minnesota is taking retread Green Bay Players in the hopes of passing them for supremacy in the NFC North. History certainly makes it look that way, at least. From Darren Sharper to Brett Favre to most recently Greg Jennings and Desmond Bishop, the Packers’ rivals to the west seem obsessed with getting as many former Green Bay players as they can.
Is it now turn for the Packers to return the favor?
With Sam Shields having recently signed a four-year contract to remain with the Packers, the team now turns its focus to improving the front seven of a defense that has fallen short of expectations three years running. While safety seems to be the most glaring need on defense at the moment, the Packers also are still in need of improving their pass rush and allow their talented cornerbacks to get some turnovers.
That’s where a former Viking comes into play. With the future of pretty much the entire defensive line in question (save Datone Jones), Packers general manager Ted Thompson may not be able to fill all the holes through the draft and very well may have to wade into the free agent waters.
If he does, there is one name he should consider and it’s a name that will make many Packers fans cringe: Jared Allen.
With recent reports that Allen will not be returning to Minnesota, he is set to test free agency for the first time in his career. At the age of 31, Allen still has good years in him and would by no means be a “stop gap” solution for a team. Adding him to the Green Bay defensive line would immediately add a pass rush and would take a lot of pressure off of Clay Matthews and the linebackers.
On the surface, Allen would not appear to be a “Packer person” and maybe that’s what the defense and the team as a whole needs. While Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy focused strongly on toughening up their team in 2013, there is still a perception out there the Packers are not a team to bust the opposition in the mouth especially on defense.