Jared Allen Announces Retirement


Former Chicago Bears defensive end/outside linebacker Jared Allen has announced his retirement after a 12 year NFL career.  Allen made the announcement of “riding off into the sunset” via his Twitter account, literally riding off, but without the sunset:

Jared Allen came to the Bears on the down side of his career and the numbers reflect that.  In his eighteen games with the Bears, he recorded just 5.5 sacks and 41 tackles.  After just three games playing outside linebacker in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme, he was traded to the Carolina Panthers.  With the Panthers this past season, he notched two sacks and fifteen tackles in a dozen games.  The last couple of seasons don’t tell the story on Allen.

Allen retires tied for ninth overall in sacks with another former Bears hired hand Julius Peppers.  Allen and Peppers were as the active leaders in sacks with 136.  It will be up to Peppers and DeMarcus Ware to vie for the honor, with Ware just 1.5 sacks behind Peppers on the all time list.  To move up, they’ll pass former Bears standout Richard Dent on the all time list.  Dent retired with 137.5 career sacks.

Allen’s best years were spent terrorizing the Bears.  In his six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings from 2008 – 2013, Allen recorded 85.5 sacks including 15 against the Bears, third behind his 18.5 against the hapless Detroit Lions and 16 against the Green Bay Packers.  His best season came in 2011, when Allen recorded 22 sacks.  He recorded double-digit sacks in seven seasons from 2007 – 2013.  That streak ended with the Bears.

Phil Emery brought Allen in before the 2014 season with hopes that he would be the piece to put the Bears over the top but it was clear from the start that Allen just didn’t have it any more.

"“The difference between a sack and a pressure and a quarterback hit is about a half-step, a half-second,” Allen said. “You know, whether he pumps that ball or not. So I went back and I watched all my rushes from the first half (of the season) and was just trying to find little, small technical things where I can gain a half-second, a half-step.”"

He struggled to find that missing half step that’s often the difference between a sack and a hurry and never delivered as the Bears defense was historically bad.

Off the field, Allen turned his life around after early struggles with DUI’s while with the Kansas City Chiefs.  He went on to found Jared Allen’s Wounded Warrior Foundation, which builds handicapped accessible homes for veterans.

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I don’t blame Allen for being bad with the Bears.  I blame Phil Emery for signing him.  Allen is one of those guys that you hate when he’s not on your team, but you like and respect when he’s on your team.  I hated his calf roping sack celebration until he was doing it in the Navy and Orange.  I only wish we’d seen it more often.  Happy trails cowboy!