Jared Allen's checking account is $25,000 dollars lighter, but he's happy to be able to play this weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Allen met Tuesday with NFL officials in New York to plead his case after receiving multiple fines for his hits on quarterbacks. The NFL had reportedly considered suspending Allen after issuing a fine of $50,000 on Nov. 7 for two hits below the knees of Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. One week after that game, Allen was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
"I'm not suspended. I'm playing ball, so I guess (Tuesday's meeting) went well," Allen said after Wednesday's practice. "I was able to go out there and see their point of view. They were able to see my point of view. They came to the determination that a suspension wasn't necessary and they assessed a fine that they thought. Obviously, we argued for no fine. I guess we met in the middle."
"We understood his perspective, what he was trying to achieve and he understood what we were trying to do as a league," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on the "Jim Rome is Burning" show on ESPN.
Allen said he didn't receive a warning that he would be suspended if the league called into question any of his quarterback hits in the future and he said the discussion centered around more than just his latest hit on Rodgers, calling it "a culmination of the last few weeks."
"Obviously they felt I wasn't a danger on the field and that's where we're going with it," he said.
Vikings coach Brad Childress didn't attend Tuesday's meeting, but he did defend Allen publicly the last couple of weeks.
"I know they protect the quarterback in this league, but I don't feel like that was a late hit personal foul," Childress said last week in defense of Allen's hit on Rodgers. "… When nobody blocks you, and nobody blocked him on that play, it's like going from a green light to a red light without a yellow light in between. He's full speed on the gas and the ball comes out. What's the mechanism? He let it go. Was it helmet-to-helmet? I didn't think it was helmet to helmet. As a matter of fact, you could see him pull away and put his hands up. Without being a physics major, I don't think there's any way that you can stop on a dime."
While Childress didn't attend the meeting in New York, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and Vikings vice president Kevin Warren did take the time to join Allen and his agent Ken Harris, along with Tim English of the NFL Players Association, at the meeting that lasted a few hours.
"I don't know what it meant to them. I know what it meant to me. … For coach (Frazier) to take the time out of his preparation week to come to bat for me means a lot to me," Allen said. "I'm pretty sure they saw that and I know they appreciated him being there. He didn't have to go. To me, that meant a tremendous amount. It showed the respect he had for me, the belief he had in me. When your coach goes to bat, it's kind of like when your dad sticks up for you. It means a lot to you. I definitely think it helped because they saw an organization that was standing behind me. The whole purpose of the meeting was that we needed to get this thing out in the open and put it to bed, and that's what we did."
Allen said the scrutiny from the league won't influence how he plays in the future.
"Not at all. I will play football the way I play football and that's the way it is. I'm not a dirty player; never have been. I play hard football and that's the bottom line. Same thing I told them," he said.
But the perception among some in the public that he's a dirty player does bother him.
"That offends me because I put a lot of heart and soul into football. I play this game because I absolutely love it," he said. "Those were people's opinions. It got addressed. Both sides, we're all on the same page."
Allen addresses latest fine, no suspension
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