We all knew that Jared Allen’s time as a Viking had come to a close, as he was at the end of a massive contract and the team had already designated Everson Griffen to take his spot on the defensive line (and given him a big contract). He’d been rumoured to have offers or outlines of offers from several teams and we all expected to see him playing for Seattle or Denver this year. Seattle was the obvious choice for Allen, and not just because of the unwritten NFL rule that says all former Vikings must sign with Seattle, so yesterday’s announcement took everyone by surprise. Arif Hasan, who is making a strong case to take Tom Pelissero’s place as the top writer in Vikings coverage, was uncharacteristically dour:
Someone named Jared Allen signed with the Chicago Bears today to a four-year deal, worth $32,000,000. The structure of the deal is of course important with a player at Allen’s age (31), and it can be voided to a three-year, $24,000,000 deal. $15,500,000 is fully guaranteed — which comes from a base salary guaranteed fully in the first two years and a roster bonus he will receive next March.
On a per-year basis, this is a lower deal than the one he “missed out on” with the Denver Broncos when they offered him and DeMarcus Ware identical, $30,000,000 deals over three years, but it is similar amount of guaranteed money.
This of course means that Allen will play against the Vikings twice a year, an interesting set of circumstances that sees him paired up against his practice sparring partner, Matt Kalil.
This could also imply that Allen’s desire to play was balanced against his desire to go to a contender, as he had choice offers from the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys as well, the first of whom could give him a much better shot at a ring, but less playing time. The Cowboys, short on cap space, were likely in a much more difficult spot in terms of the type of contract they could offer him and the flexibility they had to give him a good deal.
Jared Allen #69 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on before the game against the Detroit Lions on December 29, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)