Three years ago today, the Panthers added a much-needed pass rusher to their squad. The team acquired defensive end Jared Allen from the Bears, with Chicago receiving a conditional sixth-round pick in return. While the five-time Pro Bowler had clearly lost a step by the time he made it to North Carolina, he still played a role in helping the Panthers win their conference.
After having spent six seasons with the Vikings, Allen inked a four-year, $32MM deal ($15.5MM) guaranteed with the Bears in 2014. The veteran put up solid stats during his lone full season in Chicago, compiling 56 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and two passes defended. With Vic Fangio hired as defensive coordinator in 2015, Allen was forced to switch from defensive end to linebacker. While he embraced the change, he failed to show the same kind of pass-rushing prowess, compiling only five tackles and zero sacks through the team’s first three games.
Meanwhile, the Panthers found themselves struggling with injuries among their front seven, as Luke Kuechly, Charles Johnson, and Frank Alexander were all hobbled. Having started the season 3-0, the organization decided to add some reinforcement to their defensive line, and they acquired Allen for a conditional pick.
Allen was plenty solid during his tenure with the Panthers, compiling 27 tackles and a pair of sacks in 12 games (12 starts). The veteran sat out the team’s NFC Championship Game victory over the Cardinals, but he returned in time for the Super Bowl. Allen finished that contest with a single tackle, as the Panthers fell to the Broncos, 24-10. Less than two weeks later, Allen announced his retirement, and he subsequently signed a one-day contract with the Vikings.
While Allen certainly isn’t known for his time in North Carolina, the veteran still played an important role in guiding the Panthers to their second Super Bowl appearance.
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