Kirby Lee/USA TODAY

Carolina Panthers' Jared Allen Announces His Retirement on Twitter

Carolina Panthers' defensive end Jared Allen announced he will be riding off into the sunset and retiring from the NFL on Twitter Thursday.

It appears Carolina PanthersJared Allen is trading in his football cleats for cowboy boots full time by announcing his retirement on Twitter Thursday.

https://twitter.com/JaredAllen69/status/700340328729935872

https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/700342714169057281

Allen played 12 years in the NFL for the Kansas City ChiefsMinnesota VikingsChicago Bears and this past season with the Panthers. The team traded for him earlier in the year after Charles Johnson was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

Over those 12 seasons, he had 136 sacks which is the ninth highest total ever and was tied for the most among all active players in the NFL with Green Bay PackersJulius Peppers. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, along with four All-Pro selections, and led the league twice in sacks in 2007 and 2011. During that 2011 season as a member of the Vikings, he had 22 sacks and came up a half sack short of the single season record held by Michael Strahan.

Prior to the Super Bowl, Allen was asked if this might be his last game and he said: “I really don’t know. Those are conversations I’m going to have with my wife, my kids, and the family. That will be what it is when it is. I am honestly just present, I am focused on the moment and I want to go out and have the best game I can possibly have, best game of my career, on the best stage and help our team win a football game.”

While the stat sheet may not show Allen having a big game in the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos, he finished the game with one solo tackle and one QB hit, he deserves a great deal of credit because he played that game with a broken bone in his foot. He suffered the injury in the Panthers' playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks and was forced to miss the NFC Conference Championship Game against the Arizona Cardinals.

He will certainly go down as one of the best pass rushers the NFL has ever seen.

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

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