Brian Urlacher retired this week – yes, with the Chicago Bears – and the NFC North may be less another of its aging defensive stars within the year if the Minnesota Vikings don’t find a way to sign defensive end Jared Allen.
Scheduled to make $14.3 million in the final year of his contract, Allen told Dan Wiederer of The Star Tribune recently that he has had no talks with Vikings brass and isn’t interested in talking in public about his “business.”
Just ask Aaron Rodgers about Urlacher – he will tell you he respected the hell out of him, but is smiling behind those words knowing he won’t have to look into his eyes anymore from across the line of scrimmage. We’re sure Rodgers would feel the same of Allen, the defensive end who has caused all sorts of problems over the years for the Green Bay Packers – and the teams in the rest of the league.
So, when Allen said this week that he and the Vikings hadn’t talked, that’s one step in the direction of Allen leaving Minnesota. Would Allen consider restructuring a deal or signing a cap-friendly contract that would keep him in the land of 10,000 Lakes? That remains to be seen, but we’ve also witnessed how defensive players older than 30 have been treated by teams considering their services. Just ask Urlacher. Just ask Charles Woodson. Just ask John Abraham.
Here’s what Allen had to say about the future prospects:
“You use the word ‘restructure,’ and that — to me — makes it feel like they’d want me to take a pay cut. And if anybody asked me to take a pay cut, I’d be through the first door out of there. So, no. We haven’t talked one iota. It is what it is.”
“We’re going to go about our business and play good ball and try to win a Super Bowl. And … the business stuff? We take care of that in the offseason. I have people to do that. That’s why I don’t get into it. You’re not going to hear it from me. I won’t complain. I go about my business.”
Sounds to me that Allen is positioning himself for his final professional football contract … one that most likely won’t be signed in Minnesota.