FA Rumors: Allen, Johnson, Mitchell, Jones

Jared Allen will not return to the Vikings, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Allen, 34, spent the past six seasons in Minnesota, after the team acquired him in 2008 from the Chiefs in exchange for a first-round-pick. La Canfora reports that Allen has narrowed his focus to teams that can contend next season, and that his list of preferred organizations contains less than five teams (via Twitter). The Raiders have been mentioned as a potential fit, while the Broncos would also seem to be an ideal match, as they are a veteran-laden squad with Super Bowl aspirations, and have a need at defensive end.

Allen’s play slipped last season, as he graded out as just the 34th-best defensive end in the league according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), although he did finish with 11.5 sacks. The Vikings seemed to have replaced him today by re-signing fellow end Everson Griffen to a five-year pact. The team had already extended defensive end Brian Robison in October.

Other notes from free agency:

  • Although the Vikings could sign both Griffen and free agent defensive end Michael Johnson, sources expect Johnson to land elsewhere following the Griffen deal, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN. Johnson played under new Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati.
  • We noted earlier that the Redskins are expected to be “major players” for cornerback Aqib Talib, but it seems they also have interest in safety Mike Mitchell, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post. Mitchell, a second-round-pick by the Raiders in 2009, notched 66 tackles and four interceptions in his first season in Carolina last year.
  • Defensive end Arthur Jones is a popular name on the free agent market, having already drawn interest from the Titans, Redskins, Giants, and Vikings, writes Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Wilson also tweeted that the Packers are also intrigued by Jones. Jones, 27, is a versatile player who would fit in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense, as evidenced by the teams calling on him.
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