Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Allen happy for Robison, not stressing about his future in Purple

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC Updated: October 10, 2013 - 1:23 PM

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said he's happy about teammate Brian Robison's four-year contract extension and is not stressing about whether he too will get another contract from the Vikings.

“Honestly, I’m not even worried about that," Allen said. "I’m in a situation where I’ve been blessed to have been taken care of and the Lord’s been good to me. And that’s where I leave it. I leave it in the Lord’s hands.

"Where I’m going to be at is totally up to Him and I’m receptive to go where He wants me. It’s not a stressor on my mind, honestly. My goal is, A, to beat the Carolina Panthers [on Sunday], try to get back to .500 in a couple weeks if we can get to 3-3 and try to get back into this division race and get back to playoff football."

Robison, 30, signed a four-year, $28 million deal with $12.1 million guaranteed. Allen, 31, is in the final year of a contract that pays him $14.3 million this season. Allen is expected to be more difficult to sign because he'll be 32 next May and is likely to have a much higher asking price than Robison.

Asked if there are any talks ongoing talks between him and the Vikings, Allen said, "Oh no, nothing now."

For now, Allen said he's just happy for Robison.

"Good for him," Allen said. "I’m happy. I hope everybody in the league gets paid.

"Let’s be honest, this is a business and we are expendable. You just look at our team right now, guys are in and out. You look at the NFL, it’s a revolving door. So any time anybody can get paid and provide for their family for a long time, I’m happy for them. And Brian’s a good player and a friend of mine, a good teammate. So yeah, absolutely, I’m ecstatic for him. I wish he would have gotten more.”

Some other highlights from Allen's interview with reporters:

On closing in on his 100th consecutive start (he leads all active NFL defensive ends with 98 consecutive):  "I didn’t realize that. That’s pretty sweet. To me, it’s one of those things where I believe, if I can go, I can go. I think I owe it to my teammates. They count on me to be on the field. And it’s just a mentality I’ve always had. I think everyone is hurt, everyone is inured along the way. I remember the saying by [Former Rams defensive end Jack] Youngblood, ‘If I can run on it, tape it up and give me an aspirin and we’ll deal with it later.’ When he had his broken leg.

"That’s always been my mentality. Guys who played before me, those guys played beat and battered. It’s kind of a badge of honor to go out there whether you’re hurt or whether you’re healthy, and give it all you got for your teammates.

"It’s probably more mental than physical. Absolutely. I think there are days where you’re just like, ‘Why do I do this?’ Then you push through, and you know by Friday you’ll feel better.

"To win and to be considered good at something, or try to be great, you have to be on the field. I’m not in the NFL just to say I played in the NFL. I want to make an impact on the game on the game, that weeks game, but on the game itself. When I look back on my career, I hope the guys that played before me and after me will say I did it the right way."

On the Vikings signing quarterback Josh Freeman: "I appreciate aggressiveness, I really do. I think whenever you have an opportunity to try to win, you do that. Obviously that's at a key position and that shakes some things up. I'm glad I'm not in the position to have to deal with it. All I can deal with is to try to play at a high level and help our defense to continue to get better as we go along. Whoever is going to play at quarterback is going to be.

"Christian has a great rapport with the guys in the locker room, everybody loves Cassel and Josh has come in and he's been humble. Obviously playing against him, the guys in the locker room that have played against him, you have a healthy respect for him. He's obviously a talented individual. Where he's going to fit in, I don't know and that's going to be on coach. All we can do is just keep plugging away. We're coming off of a victory and we've got to continue that momentum and try to get one more this Sunday."

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