New England Patriots Should Trade for Chiefs OT Jeff Allen


The the injuries up front are starting to pile up for the New England Patriots. At the beginning of the season, the issues were on the interior. Star center Bryan Stork was place on IR with designation to return to start the season because of a concussion and neck injury, but undrafted rookie David Andrews has filled in like a rock star. Andrews has been great, and the Patriots have not missed a beat at the center position.

Also, offensive guard Ryan Wendell missed the first few games of the season with an undisclosed illness, but the play of Josh Kline, and rookies Shaq Mason and Tre’ Jackson in his absence have forced Wendell to the inactive list as a healthy scratch the last two weeks. Simply put, Andrews, Kline, Mason and Jackson have been great in the absence of the veterans, but the injuries are now starting to pile up at the tackle position.

It all started in Week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys, when the Patriots lost starting left tackle Nate Solder to a torn biceps injury. Solder was announced as out for the rest of the season after the Cowboys’ game, but the Patriots were still in solid shape with Marcus Cannon and Sebastian Vollmer holding down the fort on the outside.

On top of the injury to Solder, Cannon, who was filling in at left tackle, suffered a toe injury late in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night. Cannon did not return to the game, and while his injury may not end up being a huge concern, there is a lot of unknown right now.

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The Patriots had to mix-and-match again with the Cannon injury, as they moved Vollmer from his familiar right tackle position, across the line to left tackle. 2014 fourth-round pick Cameron Fleming stepped up and replaced Vollmer at right tackle for the remaining part of the game.

Fleming was just brought up from the practice squad by the Patriots on Saturday, but he stepped in and played great at right tackle. With Vollmer playing a solid left tackle, the Patriots may be alright without Cannon on the surface, but the depth at the offensive tackle position is clearly lacking. It is time for the Patriots to see if they can add some depth from the outside.

If a trade is the route they want to go, Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Jeff Allen stands out to me as a logical trade target.

The Chiefs drafted Allen in the second round (44th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft. He had a great beginning of his career, starting in 13 games his rookie season, and 14 games as a second-year player. Allen was mostly listed as a left guard in those first two years, but he showed great versatility on the Chiefs’ offensive line.

Allen showed the ability to play either guard and either tackle position for the Chiefs. He had some nice success particularly at guard and right tackle, with limited opportunity at left tackle.

Unfortunately, Allen has been held back by injuries the last two seasons. He began the 2014 season as the Chiefs’ starting right tackle, but suffered a major elbow injury in the first game of the regular season. Allen was immediately placed on IR after the game, forcing him to miss the entire season.

Allen entered the 2015 season healthy and ready to compete at right tackle or guard for the Chiefs. However, he suffered a knee injury in the preseason that forced him to miss the first two games of the season, and hurt his chances of becoming a legitimate starting option for the Chiefs.

Aug 15, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Jeff Allen (71) is taken off the field on a medical cart with a trainer after suffering an injury against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason NFL football game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Now, Allen has returned fully healthy for the last four games, and has been little more than a spectator from the Chiefs’ sideline. The team clearly has no interest in getting Allen on the field this season, and after their 16-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the Chiefs sit at 1-5 with little chance on making noise in the AFC this season.

Allen is in the last year of his contract, and will become a free agent after the season. With the Chiefs competitive season over, and Allen being a free agent this season, why wouldn’t they actively look to trade the player who they consider to be a back-up? They probably would consider any sort of offer for the fourth-year player.

This is where the Patriots come in, as Allen would give them some much-needed depth up front. If Cannon were to miss some extended time, Allen could step in as the team’s starting right tackle. Fleming seems to be a strong choice as well, but Allen is the more proven player. Worst case, he gives the Patriots a strong option in case of another injury.

Also, if the young guys on the interior begin to falter, Allen brings nice talent and experience at both guard positions as well.

With the Chiefs being in an ugly situation, I see no reason why they would not take nearly anything in exchange for Allen, a player who the Patriots could certainly use up front. This is a possible trade that would make sense for both sides.

Next: Vollmer Should Replace Solder at LT

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