Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, is entering the final year of his contract. Due to make more than $14 million this season, the veteran said he had ‘no beefs’ with the way the team has handled him and said once the season starts, he wants to focus on football.
“Then everybody comes to the table at the same place. A lot of guys try to get more money before the deal’s up. Hey, I signed a contract for 6 years. They signed a contract for 6 years. It’s very, very rare when both sides honor that. A lot of guys get let go in the last year or restructure in the last year. A lot of guys, they play one good year and they want to re-up. For me, this is the commitment I made – let me honor that. They want to honor it. So, that’s great. For me, I’ve got no beefs, no quarrels, no nothing with it.” - Allen told Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com
The 31 year old 6x pro bowler was traded to the Minnesota Vikings from the Kansas City Chiefs back in 2008, where he signed a 6 year contract worth around $72 million dollars and a $15.5 million signing bonus. Ever since entering the league, I feel as if Jared Allen has proved himself to be the best defensive ends in the league. Becoming the AFC Sack leader in his final year in Kansas City, continued to do his job as he lead the NFC and NFL in sacks in the 2009, 2011 seasons.
With a handful of defensive honors, such as Player of the Year (2011), Alumni Pass Rusher of the Year (2007), 100 sack club, Allen holds the Minnesota Vikings single season for sacks with 22 back in 2011. I was a fan of the guy while he was in Kansas City and sort of cringed when I heard he was traded to the Vikings, being a Chicago Bears fan this worried me.
Allen is coming off shoulder surgery and was playing in pain last season but still managed to rack up 12 sacks, being his 6th straight season with double digit sacks. Meanwhile, there are veteran defensive ends like John Abraham who is still looking to get signed, although they have produced in their previous seasons, teams will start to look at their age. Jared Allen commented on this saying:
“You’ve got guys like Dwight Freeney, he was looking for a job. John Abraham, he had a 10-sack year and he’s struggling. But teams also, I understand, need to look at the longevity of what you can get. Both those guys are both 13, 14 years in, so you’ve got to start looking at that. I think a lot of it is a numbers game, too. What’s their production? How can they help our team win? It’s just like anything – they’re trying to get us for the cheapest and everybody on the other side is trying to get as much money as they possibly cam, right? I don’t tend to worry about everybody else.” - Jared Allen
So by having 503 tackles, 117 quarterback sacks, 5 interceptions, 27 forced fumbles and 4 safeties recorded going into this season, those numbers are guaranteed to climb. But after the season he will be entering his 11th and possibly looking for a new job.
Could he possibly become another Dwight Freeney or John Abraham, performing well for a franchise for a handful of years, just to be let go and search months for a job? Or do the Minnesota Vikings realize what they have and make sure Jared Allen retires a Minnesota Viking? The man has only missed 3 games in his entire career, that has to have some value.
Maybe at the same time, not missing as many games as Abraham or Freeney could hurt him in a way, being on the field for that long in as many years as he has been in the league, takes a toll on your body.
So after this season and when Jared Allen’s contract is finally up, will he be another veteran teams will try to get cheap? Or will the Minnesota Vikings type up another contract, in hopes of one of the greatest defensive ends in the history of this sport to re-sign and retire there. If not, he can take his talents to the Windy City. I’m pretty sure Julius Peppers would love that, maybe not so much Shea McClellin, but come on, it’s Jared Allen!