Which player will be Tampa Bay's first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft?
Well, the Buccaneers might not have a first-round pick if talks with the Kansas City Chiefs regarding a possible trade that would send Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen to Tampa Bay come to fruition.
An NFL source confirmed Fox Sports' report from earlier in the day that Tampa Bay and Minnesota have talked with Kansas City about trading for Allen, who was franchised by the Chiefs earlier in the offseason.
PewterReport.com has learned that Allen, 26, could visit Minnesota within the next few days and could visit with Tampa Bay sometime next week before the 2008 NFL Draft is held on April 26-27.
Ironically, it was nearly one year ago that Tampa Bay brought in New Orleans franchised defensive end Charles Grant for a visit before he eventually signed a seven-year contract extension with the Saints.
Tampa Bay has expressed serious interest in improving its pass rush from last season when the Bucs defense, which ranked No. 2 overall, recorded 33 sacks.
The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Allen certainly could help address that need as he has notched 43 career sacks in four seasons since entering the league as a fourth-round draft pick out of Idaho State in 2004. He led the league in sacks last season with a career-high 15.5 quarterback takedowns en route to making the Pro Bowl.
At least two things must be addressed before a trade for Allen can be executed by either the Vikings or Buccaneers.
Either team must agree to compensation that likely will include sending at least a first-round draft pick to the Chiefs and possibly a later-round pick and/or player(s).
"It's a situation that works out best for both sides," Allen told Fox Sports. "I can go to a team that is competing for a championship right now. The Chiefs can get valuable picks to rebuild with."
Tampa Bay general manager Bruce Allen has plenty of experience negotiating trades with Kansas City president Carl Peterson. The Bucs traded for former Chiefs running back Michael Bennett and defensive tackle Ryan Sims last year and signed former Chiefs defensive lineman Jimmy Wilkerson this offseason.
A long-term, lucrative contract would also have to be worked out between Allen and the team that trades for him.
Tampa Bay, which has the 20th overall pick in the first round, has approximately $25 million in cap room and isn't afraid to dish out a significant amount of money to address a need, evidenced by the fact that the Bucs made Jeff Faine the highest-paid center in the NFL earlier this offseason with a six-year, $37.5 million contract.
Minnesota, which owns the 17th overall pick in the draft, is currently $14 million under the salary cap.
Jared Allen could be looking to become the highest-paid defensive end in the NFL, which would mean he'd need to receive a contract that rivals or exceeds the six-year, $72 million deal Colts DE Dwight Freeney received during the 2007 offseason.
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