The journey has now officially ended for Jared Allen. Not the journey of his career, but the voyage of finding a new home in the National Football League; as he signed with the Chicago Bears, keeping him in the NFC North.
Earlier today, the team announced the signing of the All-Pro pass rusher. The deal, which is over a span of four years will be worth thirty-two million dollars, with fifteen and a half million in guaranteed dollars, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Prior to signing with the Bears, Allen had multiple visits with the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Seattle Seahawks. Instead of immediately signing with Seattle, Allen weighed out his options with the hopes of being paid what his production shows he is worth.
The thirty-one year old All-Pro has made a career of getting to the quarterback. At this point of his career, Allen has accumulated 128.5 sacks, placing him twelfth on the all-time list and second among active players, trailing on John Abraham.
Despite a slow start to the season last year, Allen was still able to lead the Vikings in sacks with eleven and a half. Allen was able to catch fire down the stretch, recording at least half a sack in each of the last five games.
This is a big signing for the Chicago Bears. They released defensive end Julius Peppers, and were able to replace him with Allen for half of the cost. Chicago also brought in former Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston on a five-year contract. The signing of these two players should have an immediate impact on the field for Chicago. While the acquisitions of Allen and Houston will not guarantee the Bears instant dominance in 2014, it is certainly a step in the right direction.