Jared Allen retires from NFL, posts poignant video


Jared Allen posted a video on Twitter to announce that he is retiring from the NFL after a 12-year career.

Former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen wanted to go out like a cowboy, riding off into the sunset, but he couldn’t find a sunset. So he had to settle for riding off into a kind of murky haze.

It ain’t exactly an image out of an old Western but it will have to do!

In a way this is a perfect metaphor for how Allen went out as a player. He really hoped he could leave with a ring, but his Panthers lost the Super Bowl to the Broncos, so he has to settle for walking away as a guy who made a Super Bowl but never tasted ultimate victory.

You know, kind of like a true Viking.

Poignant image, even without the sunset.

Allen broke in as a rookie with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2004, posting nine sacks in his first season. He quickly developed into one of the NFL’s most fearsome pass rushers, but also developed a reputation as a fearsome partier, and wound up running afoul of both the authorities and the NFL.

A DUI arrest led to Allen being suspended for two games in 2007. Fearing Allen would be unable to curtail his hard-living ways, Kansas City put him on the trade block.

The Minnesota Vikings decided to take a chance on Allen, trading four draft picks to the Chiefs in order to get him, and subsequently signing him to a new long-term contract. The Vikings added Allen to a defensive line that already included Pro Bowl-level tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams.

Allen rewarded the Vikings’ faith by recording 14 1/2 sacks and helping lead the team to a 2008 playoff appearance. Allen was huge again the next year as the Vikings and Brett Favre made a run to the NFC title game.

The Vikings fell on hard times after 2009 but Allen kept up his furious sack pace, reaching epic heights in 2011 with 22 sacks, just 1/2 sack shy of Michael Strahan’s single-season record.

Allen and the Vikings made one more run to the postseason in 2012 but fell to the Packers in the first round. A diminished Allen still managed 11 1/2 sacks in 2013 but the Vikings’ defense overall was terrible and it was clear the time had come for the veteran sack-master to move on.

Allen signed with the Chicago Bears in 2014 but age and injuries prevented him from making a major contribution. Allen was traded by the Bears to Carolina mid-2015, giving him a shot at a Super Bowl title in what would prove to be his final season.

The Panthers came up short but at least Allen got to be in a Super Bowl, a chance he never received as a member of the Vikings.

Allen retires with 136 career sacks, ranking him ninth all-time. 85 1/2 of those sacks came as a member of the Vikings, good enough to rank him third all-time in Minnesota history.

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Allen was more than a great player with the Vikings, he was also a tremendous presence who always brought fun and entertainment to fans. Who can forget Allen deliberately riling up Packer fans in Lambeau Field and hearing the boos rain down?

Who can forget Allen’s amazing one-handed sack of Eli Manning? Who can forget his epic duels with Gosder Cherilus and Donald Penn? Who can forget his hilarious reaction to talk of a “schism” in the Vikings’ locker room?

Yes his calf-roping celebration with cheesy but admit it, you loved it when he brought down a quarterback and roped that calf.

Jared Allen carved out a permanent place for himself in Vikings lore and as far as I’m concerned he’s still a Viking. He never got to hoist the trophy in Minnesota but it was still a great six-year ride.

Go spear yourself an elk, Jared Allen. And thanks.