Jared Allen and the Bears agreed on a four-year contract Wednesday, keeping him in the NFC North and setting up what should be some interesting twice-a-season matchups against the Vikings. What you might not now — or perhaps forgot — is that another famous Vikings defensive lineman, Alan Page, also joined the Bears late in his career, albeit under much difference circumstances. Let’s take a look at both:
11 full seasons, including 1971 NFL MVP award
Six seasons, with double-digit sack totals in all of them
Year he joined Bears
Cut by Vikings at age 33 six games into 1978 season after starting 160 consecutive games in purple. Joined Bears for rest of season.
A free agent after 2013, Allen’s age (soon to be 32) and price tag made him expendable, and he wound up signing with the Bears
Lost weight after starting a jogging regimen and was deemed ineffective by Vikings coach Bud Grant, cementing acrimony.
Hold up, what really happened?
Nothing more than was reported on the surface. When the Vikings signed Everson Griffen, the writing was on the wall.
The Bears nabbed Page for a $100 waiver fee. “A hundred dollars more than the Vikings deserved,” Page told SI in 1979.
How much did it cost?
Allen’s deal with the Bears is reportedly for four years and $32 million, with $15.5 million guaranteed.
“Alan can no longer meet the standard he set for himself. He just can’t make the plays anymore.” — Grant, upon Page’s release, according to the SI story.
“We wish Jared the best as he turns to the next chapter of his NFL career. ... Jared will always be a fan favorite, and we hope he stays involved with the Vikings franchise in years to come.” — Vikings GM Rick Spielman, in a statement Wednesday.
“After 12 years they fired me over the phone. That hurt a little bit. ... Every time I turned on the TV, there was Bud Grant telling people I was through.” — Page, in the SI story.
The quote, part II
“I’d like to take a moment to thank my former teammates, coaches and the staff at the Minnesota Vikings for all of their inspiring work and dedication. Perhaps more importantly I would like to thank the fans and the Minnesota community.” — Allen in a statement Wednesday
Had 11.5 sacks in 10 games with Bears in 1978. Played three more seasons in Chicago, starting all 16 games in each. Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988.
Life after the Vikings
Has 128.5 career sacks, good for 12th all-time in the NFL. Could be in the top three by the time he retires, making hima strong candidate for Hall of Fame.