As we approach next Tuesday's NFL trade deadline, talk of deals is heating up. In the first notable trades, the Raiders just sent a couple low draft picks to Seattle for former first-round linebacker Aaron Curry and the Jets shipped veteran Derrick Mason to the Texans.
Over on NFL.com, former Cowboys personnel man and current analyst Gil Brandt looks ahead to the deadline with some ideas for deals that might make sense - in fact deals that he thinks should happen.
Within his story he includes a pair of trade possibilities for the Patriots. Brandt says that New England should deal for Vikings pass rusher Jared Allen, as well as Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
The Allen proposal in particular caught our eye and therefore will be the subject of this week's Samsonite Make Your Case. Considering the Patriots spotty pass rush, Allen would seem to be a worthwhile pickup.
Should the Patriots trade for Minnesota's Jared Allen?
Andy Hart says yes ...
The Patriots biggest weakness right now is the pass defense. The most glaring need in that area is the pass rush. Jared Allen is one of the more productive, consistent pass rushers the NFL has seen in the last five years or so. And New England has an extra first-round pick in next year's draft.
Stop me when I get to the part that doesn't make sense. Because I see this potential trade as a home run. I'm not sure if Allen is even available, but if he is and the cost is only a first-round pick I think the Patriots need to pounce.
This deal would finally bring an impact pass rusher to the Patriots - a true double-digit sack guy rather than just a guy who might possibly reach double-digit sacks. Believe me, in the name of Tully Banta-Cain there is a difference between the two. Though it's not ideal to bring a guy in midseason, pass rushing is one of those skills that you either have or you don't. Allen has it and right now the Patriots don't.
Adding Allen to this defense would not only add his sacks and pressures, but a trickledown effect to the rest of the unit. Andre Carter, Shaun Ellis and Mark Anderson would benefit up front. Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden the rest of the cover guys would benefit in the back end.
As a team a trade like this could take the Patriots from one-dimensional Super Bowl hopeful, to a more balanced legitimate Super Bowl favorite.
Belichick didn't go get the pass rusher we all wanted in the draft. If he has the chance to do so via a sensible trade at this point he needs to pull the trigger. His defense and his team's season might just hinge on it.
Paul Perillo says no ...
I love Allen as a player and his pass rushing ability would look great up front for the Patriots. But I'm not sure you can just plug in someone with no knowledge of the system and expect everything to run smoothly. It would likely be a difficult situation for Allen while he tries to get up to speed.
Allen has spent his entire career playing in 4-3 fronts as a defensive end. While that's the system the Patriots are currently using, Bill Belichick recently alluded to the possibility of incorporating the 3-4 in the future during an appearance on Sirius Radio, and I'm not sure Allen would be as valuable in such a scenario. If that is indeed Belichick's plan, it wouldn't make a lot of sense to give up significant assets (I'm guessing it would take a first-round pick) for a player who may be limited in such a system.
The trading deadline in football is unlike that of the other three sports. Football is so system-oriented that it makes it near impossible for players to jump teams and make an impact. Generally the trades that are made in the NFL involved disgruntled players - like last year with Randy Moss. Expecting to acquire a key cog at the deadline is a bit unrealistic, and I don't think expecting Allen to come in and become the savior of the Patriots defense is any less so.
Now it's the fan's turn to cast their vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll.