The journey for Jared Allen was a long and drawn-out one in deciding where he wanted to play next season. Allen made his decision Wednesday morning when he signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the Chicago Bears. Allen moves to a division rival after spending six years with the Minnesota Vikings. The deal turns the Bears into a team that could make some serious damage in the NFC North this season. Allen had 11.5 sacks last season and has had double digits in sacks in all but two of his 11 seasons in the NFL. He had 22 sacks just three years ago for the Vikings.
This move along with adding Lamarr Houston earlier in free agency gives Chicago two dominant defensive ends that will attack the quarterback like no other. It was obvious that the Bears needed to fix their defense after an awful season there in 2013. The moves to add Houston and now Allen do a lot to help the other aspects of the defense. The team had already signed Willie Young at defensive tackle and added Ryan Mundy and M.D. Jennings in the secondary to go with re-signing Charles Tillman.
Allen is going to have a chip on his shoulder now after the Vikings didn’t offer him a contract extension before the final year of his deal last year and now he gets to play them twice a season. The Bears have to be overjoyed that Allen selected them over the Dallas Cowboys or Seattle Seahawks. Obviously, Allen saw a better fit with Chicago than those other two teams.
The Bears went 8-8 last season but appear to be on their way up from there. The Bears have become a dangerous team in 2014 with their explosive offense and now revamped defensive line. The holes in the secondary appear to be fixed as well and the steps Chicago has made in free agency have to be looked at with a possible Super Bowl run in mind. I guess we all know why the Bears restructured Jay Cutler’s new contract to clear $4 million in cap space for this season. The fans in Chicago and Allen have something to celebrate with this move.