Carolina Panthers defensive end, Jared Allen, announced his NFL retirement via Twitter on Feb. 18, 2016. He was atop a horse wearing a cowboy hat and posted a video of himself riding off into the snowy “sunset.”
Allen attended Idaho State University and began playing in the NFL in 2004. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth round and picked 126th overall. In 2008, he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for three draft picks. After six years, he joined the Chicago Bears as a free agent. He only spent one season with the Bears before he was traded to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
As the Panthers’ starting right end, Allen finished with two sacks in 12 games during the regular 2015 season. He suffered from a broken right foot injury in a game against the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional playoffs. Although he missed the following game against the Arizona Cardinals, which was for the NFC Division Championship, he was able to return and play in the Super Bowl.
The Carolina Panthers fell short to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. This was the only time Allen attended a Super Bowl in his 12-year career. The final score of the game was 24-10. According to ESPN, Head Coach Ron Rivera briefly hinted at the conclusion of the game that Allen may have played his last.
Prior to Allen’s Twitter video announcing his retirement from the NFL, he requested $8.5 million against the Panthers’ salary cap for the 2016 season. It was unlikely, though, that Carolina would have kept him at that salary rate. Kony Ealy is rumored to replace Allen’s starting right end position.
Allen played his best seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. In 2011, he led the NFL with 22 sacks. In eight of his 12 seasons, he finished with 11 or more sacks. As a member of the 100 Sacks Club, he will retire with 136 total sacks in his 12 years of being in the NFL. Moreover, Allen was also selected to play in five Pro Bowls. He will retire with 643 total tackles, 57 pass deflections, 6 interceptions, 31 forced fumbles, and four safeties.
Additionally, the longtime NFL player will also be remembered for his charitable endeavors off the field and other acts of kindness. He traveled overseas to visit troops and appeared in Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation events. His most notable contribution was founding the Jared Allen’s Home for Wounded Warriors. This organization provided handicapped-accessible homes for countless wounded U.S. veterans nationwide. Allen was also the type of player to acknowledge and cherish being part of a team. He purchased designer cowboy boots for each of his team members on the Carolina Panthers defensive line for the Super Bowl.
In the video on Allen’s Twitter account, he announced his retirement and said goodbye to the NFL. He is not the only player to retire this season. Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle Seahawks’ running back, made an announcement during Super Bowl weekend that he will not return to the NFL next season. His announcement featured his football cleats strung up over a telephone wire. Detroit Lions’ wide receiver Calvin Johnson is rumored to not return to the NFL as well. Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos has been in the NFL for 18 years and recently won his second Super Bowl against Allen and the Panthers. Many NFL fans anticipated his retirement announcement after Super Bowl 50, but he has yet to decide whether or not he will return to play football next year.
By Tricia Manalansan
Edited by Leigh Haugh
ESPN: Panthers DE Jared Allen announces his retirement via video
NFL: Jared Allen announces retirement after 12 seasons
USA Today: Jared Allen picks great way to announce retirement from NFL
Featured and Top Article Image Courtesy of Arnie Papp’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Michael Wifall’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License