The Chicago Bears signing of Jared Allen to a 4-year deal on Wednesday sent shock waves throughout not only the city of Chicago but the entire NFL. With the signing of Allen, the Bears acquired the pass-rusher that they did not have last season.
There have been many to sound off on the Bears signing Allen and here is some of the key things to be said about the team’s new defensive end.
NFC North expert Kevin Seifert of ESPN writes that Allen is the complete opposite of former Bears defensive end Julius Peppers. While Seifert compliments both players, the NFC North expert argued that Allen’s energy gives him the advantage over Peppers. Seifert is right in his assessment of the Bears improvement from Peppers with Allen. The problem with Peppers last season is that he went unnoticed. In the locker room and on the field, Peppers went unnoticed. Allen is never going to go unnoticed. Not only will Allen clearly be noticed by Bears fans on the field but he will be one of the prominent characters in the team’s locker room as well.
Former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said on Wednesday that Allen still has productive seasons ahead of him and will be a good fit for the Bears. Some have called into question how productive Allen will be considering he is 32 years old. While that is an appropriate concern, Allen likely will be productive for the Bears. With Lamarr Houston and Willie Young added this off-season, that should create favorable matchups for Allen. In fact, it’d be surprising if Allen didn’t register at least 12 sacks with the Bears next season.
The Viking Age wonders why Allen chose to sign with the Bears instead of other interested teams. Allen drew interest from the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys. Certainly the Broncos and Seahawks appear to be more desirable locations than the Bears. Though considering his less than glamorous exit from the Vikings, perhaps, Allen wanted his former team to see first-hand that he has plenty left in the tank. A scenario that would signal good things for the Bears.
There is no question that Allen changed the way the Bears off-season should be evaluated. Allen is not the same player that broke the sack record in 2009. But, Allen is a defensive end that the Bears have not seen a long time. Allen is a prolific pass-rusher that will violently go after opposing quarterbacks with no regard for the safety of opposing offensive linemen. The Bears needed to add toughness and nastiness on their defense this off-season. When it comes to defensive ends, no one fits those criteria more than Allen.