The great 2014 Jared Allen free agency saga has finally come to a close. According to multiple reports, the Chicago Bears have signed defensive end Jared Allen to a four-year deal.
Chicago Bears have agreed to terms with DE Jared Allen on a four-year contract.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 26, 2014
For weeks the Seattle Seahawks appeared to be on the verge of signing Allen, and Adam Schefter even reported that a deal was in place as recently as several days ago. However, the Bears made a surprise move by splurging for a disruptive pass rusher that has given them fits in the NFC North for years. Allen played his last six seasons with the Bears’ division rival the Minnesota Vikings, tallying 85.5 sacks in that time.
The news comes as a hard blow for Seattle’s free agency ambitions. While they were able to convince Michael Bennett to stay rather than go play with his brother Martellus in Chicago, there hasn’t been another major signing as of yet. Seattle seems focused on extending and restructuring their 2013 roster, but a number of defensive linemen are now gone and haven’t been replaced.
As I wrote on Monday, Allen was the best free agent left on the market. This makes it all much more important that the Seahawks rebuild their depleted D line through May’s NFL draft.
Part of ESPN’ report on the news included financial information. Ben Goessling writes that “Allen’s deal could be worth up to $32 million, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. It includes $15.5 million in guaranteed money, and could void after three years and $24 million.”
I would say I’m surprised Allen got that much money but I grew up a Bears fan and overpaying for free agents is what Phily Emery of the Bears does best – but there is the additional benefit of using him against the other NFC North teams that Allen is already so familiar with. It’s a huge move so on some level it can be justified and I don’t think the Seahawks could have matched without over-stretching themselves.
Our defensive line has taken some blows but they can be rectified by drafting very well or signing a couple veterans. At the end of the day though these guys are the only ones that matter to me. Get them extended.