Five-time Pro Bowler Jared Allen is entering the final season of his contract without any guarantee from the Minnesota Vikings of an extension. But he doesn’t have a problem with that.
“I was in an organization previously that didn’t respect where I was at in my contract,’‘ Allen said Wednesday, referring to the Chiefs. “They promised me a lot of stuff and didn’t deliver. And here, I don’t have that problem.”
The 31-year-old Allen will make more than $14 million in 2013 before bonuses. With that large of a salary cap hit on the club, the Vikings could’ve forced him take a pay cut as they did with defensive tackle Kevin Williams, left guard Charlie Johnson and tight end John Carlson. Or they could’ve just released him, like veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield.
“A lot of guys get let go in the last year or restructure the last year,” Allen said, via the Associated Press. “They want to honor it. So that’s great for me. I have no beefs, quarrels, nothing.”
Over the next 12 months, the Vikings defensive line will change significantly as Williams, defensive ends Everson Griffen and Brian Robinson are all in the final year of their contracts.
“If we sit there and worry about the contract thing and things like that, it’s not going to do anything but hurt our play,” Robison said. “I mean, I think any guy will tell you as long as your mind is on playing football and you’re playing well, everything else will take care of itself.”
Allen, who has 117 career sacks in the NFL, had just 12 sacks last season, but played the entire year, including the postseason loss at Green Bay, with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He had surgery to repair the shoulder four months ago, and also underwent a minor procedure in his right knee at the same time.
Allen has joined his teammates for the second-round of organized team activities, but only as an observer.
“We probably won’t see him until training camp,” Frazier said. “But … medically he is doing great and there won’t be any problems when we get to training camp. The fact that he’s in town, he’s doing his rehab here, he’s coming out to our practices, that’s a good thing.”
“I feel good. Just trying to build strength up now,” Allen said, adding: “Just trying to make sure I’m in the best shape possible and I can get back out there with the guys.”