Jared Allen (Gregory Shamus/Getty)
It was clearly two separate subjects, but Jared Allen addressed the Vikings’ pick of Christian Ponder as the quarterback of the future and other rookies who went to New York showing off the wares of money they hadn’t earned yet.
Jared Allen is a long away from Winter Park, where he likely would have been for the post-draft minicamp. Instead, he’s at his home in Arizona, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t talking football.
Allen was a guest on KTAR-Radio in Phoenix to talk about the draft, the labor situation and the Vikings. As usual, Allen was candid to a fault.
When asked about the drafting of Christian Ponder, Allen said he had a chance to talk to Leslie Frazier during the brief window of opportunity in which the lockout was lifted Thursday into Friday of the draft. He said he’s going to reserve judgment on whether Ponder was a wise choice or not.
“Whether they believe this kid can do it, that’s yet to be seen and we will have to see how the season plays out. I try not to judge people until I see them on the field,” he said, according to sportsradiointerviews.com. “I came in as a fourth-round pick. People thought I was going to be a long snapper and I was able to prove them wrong. I don’t try to make judgments until I see them play, but that’s a lot of pressure to put on a rookie quarterback, especially in our division with the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Detroit – they’re no slouches these days either. It’s a tough thing and will be curious to see what happens in free agency.”
The hosts appeared to hit a nerve when ask about the over-friendliness between the draft picks and Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I don’t like anybody who was drafted ahead of me,” said Allen. “It kind of pisses me off. You know it did. I honestly think it would’ve been cool to see none or all of the players elect not to show up. I think it would’ve given a really big sign to the NFL. You want us to appease you guys by coming in this show, because that’s what the NFL draft is on TV – it’s a show for their fans and a show for their league. You want us to do that, then let’s get a deal done. Let’s quit locking us out and let’s get back to work.
“I think the bigger disappointment was to see the jewelry on these kids’ arms and ears. Are you kidding me? You haven’t played a down in the league yet and thousands and thousands of dollars on these kids arms. I’m like you guys – understand you’re getting drafted into a lockout where you don’t know what rules you’re playing under and how much money you might possibly get.”
Allen said he understands the fan frustration, but said that there are many issues related to the negotiations that both sides believe strongly in and that they have to get to the work of hammering out an agreement both sides can live with.
“Us as players, we’re trying to play football,” Allen said. “I know people are pissed off, saying that it’s just millionaires and billionaires arguing over money. But there are some other issues to be discussed as far as long-term life stuff. The bottom line is the players want to play football and that’s the only way that we’re going to find out whether or not these players are worth a damn.”
Ted Mondale, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s point man on the stadium project, announced Friday that a plan is moving forward and the Wilf family will be willing to pay more than its one-third share of anticipated costs for a new stadium. According to Mondale, the Wilfs have agreed in principle to pay about 40 percent of the total stadium cost.
There were some concerns that Vikings cornerback Chris Cook would face potential disciplinary action after being charged in Lynchburg, Va. His trial was resolved Friday and Cook was found not guilty of accusations of brandishing a gun. His neighbor, Omar Goode, accused Cook of brandishing a .40 caliber handgun March 12 hear the home of Cook’s mother. While it was established that the two had a verbal altercation, there was no substantial evidence to corroborate the contention that Cook actually brandished a weapon. District Court Judge Edwin Burnette ruled after two hours of testimony that Cook was not guilty of the misdemeanor charges. Cook’s attorney had requested a bench trial with a judge rather than a jury trial.
The Vikings didn’t give anyone else Ray Edwards’ number when they assigned numbers to their rookie draft class, but maybe they could have. Edwards was tendered a first-round offer of $2.8 million, but said there is no way he will play for the Vikings if the lockout keeps him a restricted free agent. In an interview with the Star Tribune, Edwards said there is no way he would play for less than “my backup,” Brian Robison, who got a three-year, $14.1 million deal with a $6.5 million signing bonus.
Brett Favre could be coming back to football … eventually. (Spoiler alert!) It won’t be as a player. Favre told TV station WDAM that he was “starting a new career.” He suggested that he might get into coaching or perhaps become a TV analyst. Many would prefer to see the latter, to see if Favre would be critical of QBs who take chances. He could be a fair-and-balanced analyst like Troy Aikman or a “look-at-me” hate monger cartoon in the vein of Sean Salisbury and Trent Dilfer. Hopefully, if a network hires Favre, they’ll let him be himself and unleash his home-spun yarns. Nothing beats “I got up the day the of big game and Mama made 15 flapjacks and I said, ‘Mama, take back five of those flapjacks, I want to be hungry when I face the Crimson Tide.’”
Want more in-depth coverage on your favorite NFL team? Click here and get started today.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.