Jared Allen ‘not hostile' over contract

Jared Allen is coming to the end of a six-year contract that will pay him more than $70 million, but Allen isn't concerned with playing out his contract without an extension. He's finally healthy again after shoulder and knee surgeries and ready to let his play do the talking.

The Vikings' three first-round draft picks are all attending the first week of the team's organized team activities. So is Adrian Peterson, who is coming off surgery to repair a sports hernia, and nearly every other player.

The only known absence from Vikings OTAs is defensive end Jared Allen, but it's not because of any contract squabble or even because of shoulder and knee surgeries he endured in February. Allen plans to attend OTAs next week, but is spending this week on vacation celebrating the third anniversary of his marriage to a woman who helped settle him down.

"I've always been God-fearing, I just didn't always act like it. I was raised by a good Christian family," Allen said, joking with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday. "I tell people I used to have that heart-rate monitor. I spent more time asking for forgiveness than asking to be on the straight path. We all go through our trials and our tribulations, but we grow."

But Allen made it clear that being in the final year of the six-year, $73 million contract he signed with the Minnesota Vikings is no cause for concern for him.

When Allen told the Star Tribune earlier this month that he's not concerned with his contract and wouldn't have accepted a pay cut – he is scheduled to make $14.3 million in base salary and count $17.1 million against the salary cap in 2013 – he said some mistook his words as bitterness.

"I'm not hostile. I love the Minnesota Vikings. They got me out of a situation in Kansas City where I was very unhappy and put a lot of faith in me," Allen said. "The whole point is I don't worry about my contract, and I don't. I've always been a person that says my play will take care of everything else.

"As long as I perform on the football field, you have options in front of you. As far as where I'll end up, I don't know. I'm playing this year for this year. I loved being a Viking. I love being a Viking. I want to win a Super Bowl as a Viking."

After coming within one sack of breaking the all-time single-season sack record with 22 in 2011, Allen had only 12 last year while dealing with his injuries.

Allen is one of several defensive linemen on the Vikings who are in the final year of their contracts, including the other starting defensive end, Brian Robison, and backups Everson Griffen and Lawrence Jackson. After restructuring his contract this offseason, defensive tackle Kevin Williams is also in the final year of his deal.

Some players are bothered by entering the final year of their contract without talks of an extension. Allen is not one of those players.

He is happy. And, just as important for his career, he is finally feeling healthy again after willingly playing last year with a shoulder injury that he knew would require surgery after the season.

"I'm excited to be playing ball and especially I'm excited to be healthy this year. That's the biggest thing," he told SiriusXM. "My contract has been so far out of mind because I'm finally able to train this year. My shoulder is back. I didn't know how rehab was going to be, this being the first surgery I've ever had. I'm just excited that my strength is coming back; I'm sleeping again at night. Two years of not sleeping very well, it wears on you."

Coming to the end of a six-year contract without an extension? That doesn't appear to be wearing on Allen in the least.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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