Former Vikings defensive end Jared Allen announced Thursday morning that he's retiring from pro football.

He did it in a couple of ways.

There was the Twitter version:

Then, there was the more formal version, the statement released by his agent to NFL.com and others by his agent:

I want to take this time to thank my family, friends fans, and teammates who have given their continued support throughout my 12 year career, It's been a great ride for me, and I couldn't be more grateful for the memories. It is with a great deal of thought and consideration, that I have decided that I will not return to football next year. I want to thank the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and the Kansas City Chiefs organizations, who provided me with an opportunity to live out my dream and to be a part of their wonderful communities. Thanks for the life long memories."

Allen spent six years of his career with the Vikings. He was acquired from Kansas City in April 2008 in return for four draft picks, including a third-round that was used to draft star running back Jamaal Charles.  The Vikings also gave up their first-round pick, another third-round and a sixth-rounder.

Allen made All-Pro teams during three of his years with the Vikings.

In his Allen retirement story, Conor Orr of NFL.com wrote: "He will be remembered for a flowing mullet and cowboy style that evolved throughout his 12 NFL seasons. It reached its crescendo at Super Bowl 50, when Allen bought expensive designer cowboy boots for every member of the Panthers defensive line. Charles Johnson, who wore the boots with Jordan basketball shorts, said that the team immediately accepted Allen after an early-season trade. He was that kind of guy."

You can read Orr's story here.

Vikings teammate Chad Greenway responded to the news with a couple of tweets:

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