After coming over from the Bears in an early-season trade, veteran defensive end Jared Allen has been enjoying the ride with the undefeated Panthers, so much so that he apparently wants to finish his career with the team. Retirement is one option this offseason for Allen, who may have to undergo back surgery, but if he continues to play, he wants that to happen in Carolina, as Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes.
“I’m not going to play for another team,” Allen said. “I take every year for what it is. I make assessments after the year on how my body feels. It’s going to be a tough offseason. I’ve got things I’ve got to get fixed. I go through the same process year in and year out. We’ll see what happens at the end of the year.”
Allen, 33, has managed to stay on the field for nearly every game over the last two seasons, even as he battles health issues, but his production has been on the decline. After recording no fewer than 11 sacks in every season from 2007 to 2013, Allen had 5.5 last year for the Bears, and has just two for the Bears and Panthers this year. Pro Football Focus ranks him 85th out of 107 edge defenders in 2015.
The Panthers can live with a part-time role and limited production from Allen this year, since the team is paying him less than $1MM, with the bulk of his 2015 earnings having been paid by Chicago. However, the veteran’s salary jumps to $8.5MM in 2016, the final year of his contract, and Carolina could clear that entire amount from its cap by releasing him. So if Allen is going to return to the Panthers, he’d have to take a pay cut to do so.