Rand: Allen not the first Viking to finish on Bears defensive line

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 27, 2014 - 9:27 AM

Alan Page bore down on Green Bay quaterback Carlos Brown in 1976. Jim Marshall is No. 70.

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 know — 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:

Vikings history

Page: 11 full seasons, including 1971 NFL MVP award

Allen: Six seasons, with double-digit sack totals in all of them

Year he joined the Bears

Page: 1978

Allen: 2014

What happened?

Page: Cut by Vikings at age 33 six games into 1978 season after starting 160 consecutive games in purple. Joined Bears for rest of season

Allen: 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

What really happened?

Page: Lost weight after starting a jogging regimen and was deemed ineffective by Vikings coach Bud Grant, cementing acrimony

Allen: Nothing more than was reported on the surface. When the Vikings signed Everson Griffen, the writing was on the wall.

How much did it cost?

Page: The Bears nabbed Page for a $100 waiver fee. “A hundred dollars more than the Vikings deserved,” Page told SI in 1979.

Allen: Deal with the Bears is reportedly for four years and $32 million, with $15.5 million guaranteed.

The quote

On Page: “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.

On Allen: “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.

The quote, part II

Page: “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.” — from the SI story.

Allen: “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.” —in a statement Wednesday

Life after the Vikings

Page: 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.

Allen: Has 128.5 career sacks, good for 12th all-time in the NFL. Could be in the top 3 by the time he retires, making him candidate for Hall of Fame.

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
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