Connecting Jared Allen with Bucs

The NFL salary cap for 2014 continues to rise higher and higher by the day -- the latest buzz has it pushing upward of $135 million -- which means there will be more money for each franchise to spend this offseason.

When looking at free-agent targets for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times connected the dots between several prospective free agents and the Bucs' new coaching staff. At the top of his list was Minnesota Vikings free-agent DE Jared Allen.

"He played under Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier in Minnesota the last six seasons," noted Auman. "Allen had at least 11 sacks every year in that span, including 22 in 2011 -- that production has been sorely missed by the Bucs at defensive end."

Allen could still re-sign with the Vikings, but the Bucs could be a logical landing spot for the veteran defensive end. As ESPN Vikings reporter Ben Goessling notes, though, Allen is going to have to make a tough decision between his role next season, how much money he can make and competing for a title:

Ben Goessling

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"It will be interesting to see what kind of market Allen finds in free agency. He's said he would retire before accepting a job as a situational pass-rusher, but he might find that kind of a job -- which would let him chase quarterbacks without playing the run and adding extra wear and tear to his body -- more appealing than he initially thought. That role would also mean a lower salary, but if Allen can sign with a contender, it might be a way for him to make a late run at a championship."