Jared Allen, who just turned 31, is entering the final year of his contract with the Minnesota Vikings and will earn just more than $14 million this season.
The defensive end has been around long enough to realize this could be the end of the line for him with the Vikings. He’s not going to get the same kind of money in his next contract, even if he has another big season.
Allen is coming back from surgeries this offseason to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and a meniscus issue in his right knee. He’s been a dominant player for Minnesota and worth every bit of it in the first five seasons of the deal.
“Best-case scenario would have been that we would have never gotten to this point,” Allen told Dan Wiederer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Best-case scenario would have been the organization would have gotten something done (on a contract extension) a few years back.
“Well ya know what? That’s not the case. And I understand it. … I’m just happy I’m in a spot where both sides are honoring the contract.”
That is a good point because more times than not when a player signs a six-year deal, he doesn’t make it all the way through. Allen is going to do that and how he performs this season will dictate what his market looks like come March.
He saw teammate Antoine Winfield get cut in a surprise move this offseason. Defensive tackle Kevin Williams took a significant pay cut. In the past, center Matt Birk moved on. But Allen isn’t worried about his situation.
“I kind of feel like I hold all the cards in that aspect,” he said. “And if it doesn’t work out with the Vikings, I’m not too worried that I won’t be able to find a job, ya know?”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune