Jared Allen was not the most sought after free agent, but many teams did want his services. The former Viking defensive end was clearly one of the NFL’s top pass rushers, but the issue always came down to age for him. The same issue came about with former Bear Julius Peppers.
Like Peppers, Allen had numerous seasons of great statistics. The Bears let Peppers go this past month, and obviously they needed to replace him with someone of value. Enter Jared Allen who came in with 11 sacks for 7 straight years. Just a few years ago, he had 22 sacks. He is a four-time First Team All-Pro selection and five-time Pro-Bowl selection. Case in point, Jared Allen is legit. His 128.5 career sacks are second most among active players.
He agreed to a four-year deal for around 24 million with the Bears. He is guaranteed a cool 15.5 million with the deal as well. Not a bad deal for the 31-year-old Allen.
Julius Peppers was a bit older than Allen, but the case with Peppers wanting more money and a longer contract simply did not slide. Allen was younger and came in with far better numbers. The cool part about Allen is that he knows the Offensive Lines in the division, as the Minnesota Vikings, his former team, is in the same division as the Chicago Bears.
Allen was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs then traded by them to the Vikings. There he signed a massive new deal that played out through the 2013 season. This was his first stint with free agency, so it seemed like he was willing to take advantage of that and make great money wherever he went.
Allen visited the Dallas Cowboys and Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks, but could not come to terms with either. It seemed that Jerry Jones of the Cowboys was willing to offer the money Allen wanted, and he would be playing in the same conference that he had been for years. Allen didn’t seem interested enough in them however.
Then the Seattle Seahawks were on his radar, which seemed like a great team to be with. Allen would potentially be on a Super Bowl contender next year that already had a great defense without him. Adding him in would only increase the greatness of it.
The issue with the Seahawks came down to a couple of things. They could not offer the same money that most organizations were willing to offer. On top of that, Allen would have been a rotational player and not an every down type of player. Allen is used to being in every defensive snap. He loves to get good numbers, which he has kept up with for the better part of a decade. It would be a major ego check for him to do this.
Allen is young enough to where he could play for the Bears for four years, then end up with a Super Bowl contender when he is around 36. He could sign a smaller deal then and the every down thing wouldn’t mean as much.
Now, he does not relocate himself or his family very far from their current home. He enters a great sports town that loves the Bears as well. Chicago may not be the best team in the NFL, or even the NFC.
The Bears’ organization seems really excited to get Jared Allen and rightfully so. Bears chairman George McCaskey said regarding the Allen signing:
“We’re very happy for Jared, and his wife Amy, and the Bears and we’re really excited to have him in Chicago. We’re looking forward to it. Getting someone of Jared’s talents, this is a big move.”
Jared Allen brings a lot of hope to the pass rush as well as run stopping to the Bears’ defensive line. He is one of the best defensive ends in the game today and he doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon. Whether this signing will lead to a Bears Super Bowl appearance however, is yet to be determined.