Defensive end Jared Allen, who played the past six seasons for the Vikings, has agreed to a four-year contract with the Chicago Bears.
The four-year contract is worth $32 million, with $15.5 million guaranteed.
Allen has 128.5 career sacks, 12th most in NFL history. Only four players in NFL history -- Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Kevin Greene and Chris Doleman -- have more than 150 career sacks since the stat became an official NFL statistic in 1982.
Allen, who will be 32 next Thursday, has at least 10 sacks in eight of his 10 NFL seasons, and came within a half-sack of breaking Michael Strahan's NFL record when Allen got 22 in 2011.
It's an interesting case of musical chairs in the NFC North, with ex-Bear Julius Peppers going to the Packers, Allen going from the Vikings to the Bears and another Chicago defensive end, Corey Wootton, signing with the Vikings. Peppers, who is two years old than Allen, has 119 career sacks. His contract with Green Bay is for three years and $27 million, with $7.5 million guaranteed.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman, who met with Allen the first weekend of free agency and agreed to part ways, issued this statement: “We wish Jared the best as he turns to the next chapter of his NFL career. Not only was he an outstanding player on the field for the Vikings over his six seasons, but he also helped change lives in our community through his charitable work. Jared will always be a fan favorite, and we hope he stays involved with the Vikings franchise in years to come.”
Allen's statement, reported by the Vikings website: “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. I can only hope that I have left with you all, with even a fraction of the positive support and impact you have had on my life, my foundation and my family. I am very excited about this next chapter in my career with the Chicago Bears and can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. God bless.”
To read the full Chicago Tribune report by Dan Wiederer, click here.
The team's website quoted coach Marc Trestman as saying: "We're really excited about adding Jared to our football team. We know what his abilities bring to the table. Jared is certainly a very experienced player in the league. We believe he's going to come in hungry and excited to be part of our football team, and we believe he'll fit right in with the other new players that we've added and the guys that are already on the defensive side of the ball. I know that our defensive coaches are excited as well."
Allen joined the Vikings in 2008 after four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. During is Vikings seasons, Allen had 85.5 sacks, forced 16 fumbles and recovered nine. He has played in the Pro Bowl five times, including four times as a member of the Vikings, and was a first team All-Pro selection four times, including three with the Vikings.