When Jared Allen signed with the Bears last week, it sent shockwaves through the NFL. Even the most experienced NFL insiders did not see this coming. Allen made two visits to Seattle, and the thought was he would pick between the Seahawks, Raiders, or Cowboys. Then the real Agent Orange-Phil Emery-stepped in.
Emery wanted to sign Allen, but felt he had to keep it quiet so he wouldn’t face a bidding war. It was amazing that he got the deal done without any leaks while in the middle of the owners’ meetings, surrounded by general managers, agents, and reporters.
“It was a little bit right out of a movie,” Emery said. “It was very quiet. Ken Harris (Allen’s agent) came to the hotel at the owners meeting. We knew that to have it remain silent we couldn’t have anybody see us meet or shake hands, so we met away from the hotel.
Emery utilizes a policy of not publicly discussing any deals, so this one should not have been a surprise. “I’m just a real firm believer in privacy in contract situations,” he said. “I think all of us are that way. I don’t think anybody regardless of their area of work or expertise would want their contract details discussed in a public way. It puts undue pressure on the situation.”
For his part, Allen wanted to be discreet about contract negotiations, and wanted to be sure before deciding. “Through this whole process I’ve told everybody I’m going to be meticulous about it. I wanted to end up in the right situation. I was going to make sure it was a good situation for my family, for myself, for my career. I wasn’t going to go out and make a rash decision.”
I’m sure that one of the factors in the Allen signing was his wife, Amy Johnson. She is from Chicago so she is likely thrilled to be going back home.
The Bears fell one game short of making the playoffs in 2012 and a mere half a game short in 2013, so Allen feels this is the year they get over the hump. “Absolutely this team is closer than people think…(T)he Bears, I don’t know statistically what it is but just playing against them, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are two of the top receivers you’re going to play against at that size. I know what it takes to prepare for this offense, and it stinks.”
Emery continues to shock and amaze fans with his moves. From bringing in Brandon Marshall through a trade, Alshon Jeffery through the draft, and Jared Allen through free agency, he constantly shows he is doing his best to bring another title to Chicago.