Sunday, March 9, 2014

Could Jared Allen Be Facing a Fate Similar to Brian Urlacher?

Jared Allen has been one of the best defensive linemen in the league since he entered it in 2004 with the Kansas City Chiefs. Since being traded to Minnesota the man has recorded double digit sacks each season. To say he earned his $73 million during his six-year tenure with the Vikings is an understatement.

Now that is contract is up he is ready to move on from what he called at one time last season "the worst defense he ever played on." The only question is whether there will be a market for a veteran player whose production is bound to start dropping (eventually).

To be fair to Allen there is no real reason to think his production will drop other than his age--31. Last season he recorded 11.5 sacks, tied for seventh. His 52 tackles are on par with the rest of his career and among the best for defensive lineman.

For all intents and purposes it looks like whoever signs him (he has already said he's done in Minnesota) is going to get a stud player. So how could he possibly face a fate similar to Brian Urlacher?

The former Bears linebacker was not looking to retire when he did prior to last season. His stats were not what they once were his last couple of seasons, but that could be partially attributed to younger players stepping up. His season did end early due to a hamstring injury, but he was still a good player that wanted to play.

When it came down to it he was shoved in the direction of retirement because of money. After averaging $8.7 million over the last five years of his career he had a certain amount in mind, and teams did not want to pay it. Rather than take a low-ball offer to continue playing he opted to retire instead.

It wasn't worth it for him to put in the work for what teams were offering him. This could happen to Allen, but it is not likely; at least not yet.

After making $17 million last season Allen has to know he is not going to get anything close to that again. From comments he has already made it seems that he understands that. What he does expect is something that is 'fair.'

That is pretty subjective of course, but Allen has also made one other fact clear--he wants to be on a competitor. If its the right one who knows what he'll be willing to take. Assuming he's been smart with his fortune money is not an issue as far as life after football is concerned.

Should he take a lowball offer he would not be the first to do so in order to win a Super Bowl. Deion Sanders signed with the 49ers in '94 for that very reason, had a great year, and won a ring.

Allen is young enough to still be a solid contributor for a team. Yes, he could hit the wall and see a big decline next season (it happens to everyone at one point). He could also do like Robert Mathis did last season and record 19.5 sacks at the tender age of 32.

Whose going to pay the man and find out?

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