Jared Allen spent six seasons in Minnesota, playing in four Pro Bowls and earning three first-team all-pro honors during that time. He led the NFL in sacks with 22 in 2011.
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For a while Thursday afternoon, it appeared Jared Allen’s departure from Minnesota was no longer pending.
But while the free agent defensive end is assuredly on his way out of the Twin Cities, where to still isn’t exactly certain.
According to FOX Sports NFL insider Mike Garafolo, agent Ken Harris said he, Allen and the Seahawks had progressive discussions Thursday but the 31-year-old sack master ultimately left Seattle without making a deal. He’ll mull over his options with the intention of making a decision, Garafolo reports. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported earlier Thursday Allen had agreed to sign and was in the final stages of negotiations to continue — and quite possibly conclude — his career with the Seahawks. According to Werder, Allen could have signed with the defending Super Bowl champions as soon as Thursday.
But a drawn-out free-agency courtship will last at least a little longer.
It’s been assumed since the Vikings’ season began going down the drain Allen would defect once his contract expired. So Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman re-inked Everson Griffen to a lucrative deal and allowed Allen to test the open market.
In doing so, he’s spoken with the Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys and even brought up the idea of retirement if he and a team can’t come to suitable terms. Thursday marked his second meeting with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, who oversaw and crafted the NFL’s top defense a year ago.
While the Seahawks were allowing the fewest points and yards in the league, Allen was racking up 11.5 sacks to move his career total to 128.5 — 12th all-time.
He’s one of the hottest defensive ends available behind DeMarcus Ware (signed with the Broncos for three years and $30 million, $20 million of which is guaranteed) and Julius Peppers (Packers, three years, $30 million, $7.5 million guaranteed), but Allen’s potential deal with Seattle would likely rake in less money than those two.
The Seahawks are $15.2 million below the cap and are expected to save some of their available assets toward long-term deals with Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. Allen made $14.3 million last season and will likely take a paycut.
Allen spent six seasons in Minnesota, playing in four Pro Bowls and earning three first-team all-pro honors during that time. He led the NFL in sacks with 22 in 2011.