Chicago Bears Trade Jared Allen to Carolina Panthers


Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Let the rebuild begin! The Chicago Bears traded five-time Pro Bowl DE Jared Allen to the Carolina Panther today for a conditional 2016 6th round pick. The conditional terms haven’t been announced yet, but my guess is that the draft pick will improve to the 4th or 5th round based on Allen’s contributions for the Panthers. The Bears will be picking up the majority of Allen’s remaining salary this season ($11.5M) while the Panthers pick up just $823,000. The Panthers will also be on the hook for the next two years of Allen’s deal ($16.5M), but none of it is guaranteed.

The Bears signed Jared Allen late in training camp last year to provide a pass rush as a 4-3 DE, but he missed time early in the season with pneumonia, lost 18 pounds, and his play suffered until late in the 2014 season. His 5.5 sacks last year was the lowest total in his impressive 11-year career.

Maj. Gen. R.T. Tryon, center, the commanding general of Multi National Force – West, poses with several National Football League players who visited the Al Anbar province as part of a USO-sponsored trip. Present, from left, are Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings, Will Witherspoon of the St. Louis Rams, Danny Clark of the New York Giants, and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals.

NFL players, Jared Allen, Larry Fitzgerald, Will Witherspooon, and Danny Clark, visit with Maj Gen R.T. Tryon and the Marines of Multi-National Force West Sunday, March 8, 2009. The players were on a tour of the Al Anbar province with the USO.

With the Bears transitioning to a 3-4 this year, Allen was asked to move to the OLB position. Despite adamantly resisting a move to OLB earlier in his career, Allen had a good attitude about the position change and showed a few flashes of his old pass rush skill but ultimately not enough to be a difference maker off the edge. It’s clear that Allen would be better fit in a 4-3 and a win less Bears team is better off giving those snaps to a young player(s) and trying to find some building blocks for the future.

The 6th round pick or whatever it ends up being isn’t much of a return for a future Hall-of-Famer like Allen, but I think it was more about trying to develop an OLB for next season. Allen lost snaps to Sam Acho in the 2nd half on Sunday and high-priced free agent Lamarr Houston (only 28) has shown flashes of his former self the last two weeks. Allen has had a few QB hits and made an athletic INT in week 2, but he is noticeably slow off the edge and the Bears should get more production from Houston or maybe even Acho.

The Panthers just lost DE Charles Johnson to a hamstring injury and if Allen has anything left, he will have a better chance to show it in the Panthers 4-3 scheme. Despite Allen’s ineffectiveness with the Bears, he still leads all active players in sacks (134) and fumble recoveries (19) since 2004. Allen didn’t have the impact the Bears expected when they signed him to a 4-year, $32M deal but he was a solid pro and hopefully his work ethic rubbed off on some of the Bears young defensive players.

Next: Chicago Bears Misfit OLB Lamarr Houston

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