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With the midpoint of the season approaching, many veterans who have yet to discuss new deals with their existing clubs are highly unlikely to do so later this season. Vikings pass rusher Jared Allen and Patriots corner Aqib Talib are both having excellent seasons and are very likely to explore options on the open market this offseason, according to league sources.
Allen is in the final year of his huge contract with Minnesota and both sides have been content to play this out. He loves playing for the Vikings and they love him, but this will be Allen's last chance to earn a substantial payday, his first shot at free agency, and it's very unlikely either side will really push to do a deal prior to the start of free agency in March.
Allen could well end up signing back with the Vikings, but it would be shocking to see that happen before getting the opportunity to see how other teams view the pass rusher, who has been among the most productive at his position for years.
Off-the-field concerns limited Talib's market last year, and led him to re-sign with the Patriots on a “prove-it” contract. And proving it he is. He has stayed out of trouble and has been a differencemaker for the Patriots defense, but, with no contract talks scheduled or expected, he too would likely end up on the open market with corner always a position of need around the league.
The Patriots could always apply the hefty franchise tag, of course, but to this point, despite Talib's stellar start to the season, there have been no attempts made to secure his services for the future.