Jared Allen Signs With the Chicago Bears, is (Temporarily) Dead to Me

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.

For what it’s worth, the Bears also likely are a better team than the Cowboys, but are also probably less likely to make the playoffs given the strength of their division.

He is five career sacks behind the 36-year-old Johnathan Abraham, currently the active sack leader in the NFL, with 128.5 and has averaged 14.3 sacks a season with Minnesota (and 13.1 sacks a season if you drop his best and worst sack seasons).

Barring an injury, it’s almost guaranteed that Allen will surpass Abraham as the active sacks leader in the next year or two. He is 8.5 sacks ahead of Julius Peppers (who recently signed with the Packers in your new NFC North) and 10.5 sacks ahead of DeMarcus Ware. With all that in mind, it would be a surprise if he didn’t retire as the active sack leader in the NFL.

Allen has been declining, but probably not nearly as sharply as many Vikings fans like to say, and certainly not to the degree Julius Peppers has. If you look at a moving average of his per-game PFF scores as a reasonable approximation of his performance, there’s a decline, but not one that should let Vikings fans cheer in glee:

Jared Allen PFF Grade By Game

That isn’t the end-all, be-all of performance (I don’t consider his 2013 season as ultimately too far below average), but it does indicate that Allen perhaps peaked as an all-around defender in 2010 and 2011 and has been struggling to regain form. Then again, at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, he had experienced a much sharper decline in performance and regained it.

The fact that the Bears have decided to retain defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who had a terrible year coordinating the Bears defense last year and has a poor track record in general (his defenses have ranked 16th, 24th, 27th, 29th and 30th in points allowed, in that order) should at least soften the blow, as I’m not sure he can inspire the kind of turnaround that Leslie Frazier did at the beginning of the 2010 season.

The Vikings will not be expected to get more than a fifth-round compensatory pick for Jared Allen, should they get any after the free agency period (Linval Joseph may cancel it out).

I wrote this back when I thought he was going to sign for the Seahawks:

In particular, Allen’s contributions as a “clutch” defender should not be forgotten. The Vikings played defense on first down 44.9% of the time, second down 33.7% of the time and third down 21.4% of the time over the course of Allen’s career, but 40% of his tackles and nearly a third of his sacks came on third down. Some of this has to do with sample bias (teams are more likely to run short instead of pass long on third down than first or second down), but some of it speaks to the shrewdness with which Allen would play.

Allen played for the Vikings with a nonstop motor, a savvy head for situational play, incredible technique and surprising power. As much as it was time for him to go, he will be missed.

But really, the dude is temporarily dead to me for playing for the Bears. So I’ll remember his best plays fondly and hope that Matt Kalil pancakes him at every opportunity.

It’s a weird image.

Jared Allen in his natural habitat

When he retires, I’ll proudly cheer him on during his Hall-of-Fame recognition speech and any appearances he’ll make in the new stadium as a former Viking, especially when they eventually induct him into the ring of honor. But for now, he’s an over-the-hill lineman who came cheaper than expected but is still overpaid. Unless they have him play quarterback when Griffen inevitably injures Cutler.

It’s an improvement
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  1. Hahaha what a great GIF.

    Glad we get to see him a couple times a year, and hopefully watch him be overpaid.

  2. “The Vikings played defense on first down 44.9% of the time, second down 33.7% of the time and third down 21.4% of the time over the course of Allen’s career”

    I am confused by this statement. What were they doing when they weren’t playing defense? Is this a typo of some sort?

    1. Well, if I had said “the Vikings played on first down 44.9% … etc” that would include their offense and that is incorrect.

  3. Fredo… You’re nothing to me now. You’re not a brother. You’re not a friend. You’re a Chicago Bear. I don’t want to know you or what you do. I don’t want to see you at the hotels. I don’t want you near my house. When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance so I won’t be there. You understand?

  4. Well obviously it’s all about the money for JA. Going to the Bears, he certainly isn’t planning on any Super Bowl appearances.

    1. fran, i think he wants sacks. seattle is good, but repeating as champs is rare and he might not have gotten as much playing time to get those sacks there. maybe denver was a better choice for a ring and even the money, but it was the same as chicago’s guaranteed amount, so again, it could’ve come down to opportunity to get sacks. in chicago, he’ll get his chances for sacks

      my first reaction was, ‘crap’, but he’ll probably slow down even more from here on out. of course, in hindsight, we could’ve cut him last spring and it probably wouldn’t have mattered for our 2013 season

      1. I agree that this is about sacks. He has a much better chance of retiring as sack leader than winning a ring even with Seattle. Playing for the Bears means staying in the NFC North where he gained over half the total sacks he’s earned since becoming a Viking. The only puzzle to this logic is the fact that by playing for Chicago he doesn’t get to pad his stats by planting Cutler.

      2. You’re probably right Cal. It’s going to be some good games seeing him go against Matt Kalil, a guy he practiced against for a couple of years.

  5. The numbers don’t make sense at all, although I think they did actually play defense less than 25% of the opponents 3rd downs last year……..

    1. I do not know why people are picking on modifiers when I did not say “opponent’s third downs” – English is constructed in a way that one word has the ability to modify any number of words beforen or after it in groups or in singular.

      Here, it clearly says that the percentage of defensive snaps played were: 44.9% (first down), 33.7% (second down), 21.4% (third down).

      The meaning is clear and this faux-grammarian pedantry is annoying.


      1. I think what is catching people (what caught me anyway) was thinking of it in terms of: “they played defense on 44% of the 1st downs, but didn’t play defense on the remaining 56%”

        I had to read it again to understand that we were distributing 100% of their defensive snaps between the down on which they were played.

        Or maybe I’m the only dense one, and everyone else is just being a smartass?

      2. ” faux-grammarian pedantry ”
        Might not make them “Stop” but it’ll slow ’em down a bit, having to get out their thesaurus to understand what the heck you’re talking about. . .

  6. Can’t really blame Jared for anything, he’s just doing what he feels is best for him. We’ll miss ya man.

  7. Vikes vs Bears
    A lot of left side draws and in the 4th OK AD Run him over or juke him out which ever you want to do.
    He will probably get 1-2 sacks a game against us. Just don’t fumble Cassel.

    If both are healthy I think the VIKES win the LT/DE battle most of the time

  8. I hope the Vikes kick the lights out of Allen and his Bears. Regardless, I’ve got no problem with Allen going to Chicago. Zimmer and Spielman obviously didn’t want him. Because of that, Allen has a legitimate gripe but says nothing. If I was Allen, I’d be motivated to destroy the Vikings twice a year and I’m sure that will be his approach.

  9. how many sacks will he get in the snow at gopher stadium 4 times in the next 2 yrs….weather permitting…

  10. Was a Great team leader. I’m sure they will miss that…
    Agreed, It was about the money, Good for him, Wish him the best…