Allen signed a one-day contract with the Vikings on Thursday and will retire as a Viking tomorrow after originally announcing his retirement earlier this offseason on social media with a short video of him riding off into the sunset on a horse.
Allen spent six seasons with the Vikings after they traded to acquire him from the Kansas City Chiefs and ended his time in Minnesota with 83½ sacks, third-most in franchise history.
“We are incredibly proud to have Jared retire as a member of the Vikings franchise,” Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf said in a release announcing the move. “Jared was not only a phenomenal player on the field, but he was also a favorite among the fans and within the organization. He will always be a member of the Minnesota Vikings family.”
Allen played 12 seasons in the NFL, starting with the Chiefs, continuing with the Vikings, then becoming a member of the Chicago Bears as a free agent in 2014 before the Bears traded him to the Carolina Panthers in 2015, where he finally made it to the Super Bowl.
Allen was part of back-to-back NFC North championship teams with the Vikings in 2008 and 2009 and played in every game when he was in Minnesota. He started 96 regular-season games and four playoff contests with the Vikings.
During that time, he had 25 passes defensed, 16 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and four interceptions in addition to his signature sacks. In 2011, he recorded a franchise-record and league-best 22 sacks, finishing only a half sack away from tying Michael Strahan’s single-season record (22.5). Allen’s four career safeties are tied for the most in NFL history.
Originally a fourth-round pick of the Chiefs, in his 12 NFL seasons, Allen started 181 of 187 games played, registering 136 sacks, ninth all-time in NFL history. The defensive end also hauled in two touchdown receptions as a member of the Chiefs and returned one interception 36 yards for a touchdown as a Viking.
“Jared’s impact was evident throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul community from the moment he came to Minnesota,” said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. “While I am very proud of his accomplishments as a football player, I am just as impressed with Jared’s leadership and personal growth during his six seasons here. I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes now that he is retired from football.”
Allen, whose family has a military background, created Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors in 2009. Since then, the foundation has helped provide seven homes for U.S. Military Veterans.