Jared Allen agrees to terms on four-year deal with Bears
Jared Allen isn’t leaving the NFC North after all.
The four-time All-Pro defensive end isn’t returning to the Minnesota Vikings though. Allen agreed to terms with the Chicago Bears on a four-year contract, the team announced Wednesday morning, continuing the shift on defense within the division.
Allen, 31, spent six seasons with Minnesota, which acquired him in a pre-draft trade in 2008. Allen played all 16 games each season with the Vikings and ended up with 85.5 sacks with Minnesota, including falling just a half-sack shy of the NFL single-season record in 2011 with 22 sacks.
FOX Sports 1 Inisder Mike Garafolo reports the deal is for $32 million with $15.5 million guaranteed, and can be voided down to $24 million over three years.
"We’re really excited about adding Jared to our football team. We know what his abilities bring to the table," Chicago coach Marc Trestman said, according to tweets by the team’s official Twitter page. "We believe he’s going to come in hungry & excited to be part of our football team, & we believe he’ll fit right in."
Allen’s 128.5 career sacks rank 12th all-time in NFL history and are the second-most among active players behind John Abraham’s 133.5 sacks. Allen has the most sacks in the league since joining the NFL in 2004 as a fourth-round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs.
"We are extremely happy for Jared, his wife Amy, our fans and the Chicago Bears that Jared has agreed to terms," Bears general manager Phil Emery said via the team’s Twitter page.
Chicago’s former standout pass rusher Julius Peppers signed with the Green Bay Packers in free agency and former Bears defensive end Corey Wootton signed with the Vikings last week. The Bears filled the vacant spots with Allen and Detroit’s Willie Young from within the division, and also signed Lamarr Houston from the Oakland Raiders.
Allen reportedly was nearing a deal with the Seattle Seahawks last week, but left Seattle without a signed contract, reportedly to take the weekend to discuss offers with his family. Allen also had interest from the Dallas Cowboys.
Minnesota had apparently moved on from Allen after giving Everson Griffen a five-year, $42.5 million deal. Griffen has served as Allen’s backup and situational pass rusher in his four years with the Vikings.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman issued a statement Wednesday morning thanking Allen and wishing him well.
"We wish Jared the best as he turns to the next chapter of his NFL career," Spielman said. "Not only was he an outstanding player on the field for the Vikings over his six seasons, but he also helped change lives in our community through his charitable work. Jared will always be a fan favorite, and we hope he stays involved with the Vikings franchise in years to come."
Allen had at least 11 sacks in each of his six seasons with Minnesota. He had 11.5 sacks, 52 tackles and two forced fumbles last season.
Allen also issued a statement on Wednesday, thanking the Vikings.
"I’d like to take a moment to thank my former teammates, coaches and the staff at the Minnesota Vikings for all of their inspiring work and dedication," Allen said. "Perhaps more importantly I would like to thank the fans and the Minnesota community. I can only hope that I have left with you all, with even a fraction of the positive support and impact you have had on my life, my foundation and my family.
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