The signs of Jared Allen spending his last season in a Vikings uniform have been evident for much of the year. Minnesota reportedly tried to trade him before the deadline, and he apparently at one point wondered if this was the worst defense on which he'd ever played.
The Vikings defensive end, at the age of 31, is still serviceable with five sacks this season and a No. 25 ranking (out of 51 players) on the Pro Football Focus list of 4-3 scheme defensive ends.
But his time in Minnesota appears to be almost over, and in an interview with USA Today, he seemed to recognize that.
"To be real honest, I'm going to have to look at the situation of the team," Allen told the paper when asked about the possibility of re-signing with the Vikings. "If I continue to play, you want to try to win a championship at some point. Personal accolades can only go so far."
And Allen -- who signed a six-year, $73 million contract in 2008 -- has no plans to retire and feels he has plenty of effective years left in his body. But he also made mention of Brian Robison being "the guy" for the Vikings next season. Since Allen would consider himself "the guy," that likely means he doesn't plan to be around next season.
As for who would want him?
Writes USA Today: "One NFL executive, speaking on condition of anonymity for competitive reasons, guessed Allen will get $9 million to $11 million a year. Another executive guessed Elvis Dumervil's five-year, $26 million deal with Baltimore could be closer 'because of age and tread on the tires.'"
At this point, though, it doesn't appear as though Allen will hold ill will to his team if he's not back next season. In fact, he says he wants to retire as a member of the organization.
"Wherever I go, when I retire, I'm going to call them and say, 'Hey, let me sign a one-day contract," Allen said. "Minnesota will always be in my heart. But I don't know what the future holds. We haven't talked about it. I'm trying not to think about it."
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