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Asher Allen retires at age 24

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Asher Allen works to pull an interception in against Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith in Charlotte Reuters

Asher Allen, a defensive back who has played three seasons for the Vikings and who just turned 24 years old, has abruptly retired.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told reporters today that Allen informed the team last week that he decided to call it quits. Frazier described himself as very surprised by Allen’s decision, and it’s impossible not to be surprised: NFL players just don’t walk away from the game, by choice, at the age of 24.

It’s not clear when Allen came to the decision and what his motivations might have been, but it’s impossible not to wonder, given the current atmosphere around the game of football, whether concussions might have played a part in his decision. Allen suffered a concussion in November of 2010 and then suffered another concussion in December of 2011. Two players who were offered the opportunity to make NFL rosters as undrafted free agents this year declined and cited concussions as the reason, and more than 2,000 former NFL players are suing the league over concussions.

Assuming Allen doesn’t change his mind, the Vikings could force him to return 25 percent of the $725,000 signing bonus that he received on his four-year contract in 2009. That’s $181,250, which could be enough money to make him reconsider retiring.

Allen played his college football at Georgia and was a third-round draft pick of the Vikings in 2009. In three seasons with the Vikings he appeared in 36 games, starting 21.

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62 Responses to “Asher Allen retires at age 24”
  1. greatminnesotasportsmind says: May 30, 2012 2:26 PM

    Heh, I’d argue the all the Viking DB’s retired last season. Certainly none on them showed up anyways.

  2. Sayre Bedinger says: May 30, 2012 2:28 PM

    If it is about concussions, you have to applaud Allen for walking away from the game at such a young age. No sense in further damaging your brain if you have already been having problems. The next concussion is more likely than the last, so by removing himself from the problem, I think it’s an admirable move especially considering the sacrifice he’s making.

  3. idolized1 says: May 30, 2012 2:32 PM

    The human being part of me says “Good for you. Go enjoy your life and use your degree/finish it to make a good living for yourself.”

    The Viking fan part of me says “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, fool.”

  4. mavajo says: May 30, 2012 2:35 PM

    Allen retired because he recently became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He reached the decision shortly after being drafted, but wanted to fulfill his obligation to the Minnesota Vikings. The concussion issues may have been a catalyst to accelerating his timetable, but this was already in the cards.

  5. lolb23 says: May 30, 2012 2:36 PM

    Glenn Coffee retired to be a minister and was soon after busted for carrying a loaded automatic pistol. Just sayin’

  6. eagleswin says: May 30, 2012 2:36 PM

    If it is about concussions, you have to applaud Allen for walking away from the game at such a young age. No sense in further damaging your brain if you have already been having problems. The next concussion is more likely than the last, so by removing himself from the problem, I think it’s an admirable move especially considering the sacrifice he’s making.

    ——————————

    No argument there. He still needs to return the prorated portion of his signing bonus though.

  7. brewdogg says: May 30, 2012 2:37 PM

    After two concussions in two years, and considering what advice he has probably received from doctors and the realization that he is likely to be a special teams-only minimum wage earner for however much longer he has, I guess I can’t fault him for his decision. he made his million bucks already and can walk away now well off and enjoy the rest of his life. the next one will make his life ten times worse, and the one after that he probably doesn’t want to think about.

  8. deeppurple13 says: May 30, 2012 2:38 PM

    I wish Asher the best. It sounds like he has his priorities.

    Unfortunately, the Vikings need 3 cornerbacks that can cover in a pass happy league in a division with 3 of the top 10 QBs. Jared Allen will need 30 sacks in order for the Vikes to win 8 games this year.

    I hope they can prove me wrong.

  9. theguywhotoldtimtebowtoshutthefup says: May 30, 2012 2:38 PM

    He loves college

  10. threedeep1998 says: May 30, 2012 2:38 PM

    Not a huge loss for MN but I do applaud any player that walks away to be safe. Do your thing young man. Get your degree

  11. canadianvikingfaniii says: May 30, 2012 2:40 PM

    No he wasn’t starter worthy but really so much hate? He stayed out of trouble and worked hard, even if he wasn’t very good. Who knows, he may have panned out in the future.

    Anyway, at least he has his priorities straight. Probably a decision for the best. Good luck Asher Allen in life after football.

  12. mvp43 says: May 30, 2012 2:41 PM

    Who knows , maybe he sustained concussuions in college and highschool as well. He’s giving up a lot of money; hope he earned his degree.

  13. kodakinvegas says: May 30, 2012 2:45 PM

    Something’s out of alignment. The whole NFL, individually, team wise AND corporately seems to be imploding. It’s like watching Jersey Shores or something. It all seems out of kilter, out if balance. Too much money? Power ? I don’t know if it’s the NFL or the new NFLPA but there sure seems to be a of weird crap going on.

  14. mediasloppy says: May 30, 2012 2:46 PM

    Wish he spoke up sooner, but all the best to him for whatever reason he’s calling it quits.

  15. matthewcarlson1 says: May 30, 2012 2:48 PM

    I wonder if this is going to start happening alot.

  16. noozehound says: May 30, 2012 2:50 PM

    the vikings have cook, Robinson, winfield, bowman, Carr, and sapp. asher was destined for the practice squad anyway.

  17. teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 2:51 PM

    @deeppurple13
    The NFC North does not have 3 of the top 10 QBs.

  18. daysend564 says: May 30, 2012 2:52 PM

    I smell a 1st round pick exchange for Mike Jenkins in the making.

  19. rodgers419 says: May 30, 2012 2:59 PM

    If he walked away because of concussions then he is a fool.

    I hope he doesn’t plan on driving any automobiles, what if he gets in a crash? Swimming in the ocean?? Are you crazy, there’s sharks!

  20. jbaxt says: May 30, 2012 3:00 PM

    He can’t jump into the concussion lawsuit and play football. They kind on contradict each other.

  21. getadealdonealready says: May 30, 2012 3:04 PM

    @daysend564 – better see a Dr, your smelling is way off! No team would be dumb enough to pay higher than a 3rd round pick for Jenkins

  22. jimnsota says: May 30, 2012 3:04 PM

    1st rounder for Mike Jenkins…maybe a 3rd at best.

  23. teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 3:04 PM

    Here are the names I’d at the top 10 in the NFL. 1 is from the NFC North. In no order:

    Rodgers
    Brady
    Manning
    Manning
    Brees
    Vick
    Roethlisberger
    Schaub
    Romo
    Ryan

    About here is where you’d put Cutler and Stafford. Stafford has the best WR in the NFL.

  24. jaggedmark says: May 30, 2012 3:09 PM

    That’s $181,250, which could be enough money to make him reconsider retiring.
    ——————————————————
    Wrong. He’d come back, not perform and force them into cutting him.

  25. gmen4life33 says: May 30, 2012 3:14 PM

    More like:

    Rodgers
    Brady
    Brees
    E. Manning
    P. Manning (due to injury)
    Big Ben
    Rivers
    Vick
    Stafford
    Cutler/Romo/Ryan/Schaub

    (Cam Newton deserves to be in top 10, but you have to do it more than one year)

  26. fngs1 says: May 30, 2012 3:14 PM

    teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 3:04 PM

    Here are the names I’d at the top 10 in the NFL. 1 is from the NFC North. In no order:

    Rodgers
    Brady
    Manning
    Manning
    Brees
    Vick
    Roethlisberger
    Schaub
    Romo
    Ryan

    About here is where you’d put Cutler and Stafford. Stafford has the best WR in the
    ————————————————
    Stafford could replace any of your bottom 5

    Romo, Really?

  27. petersonisthepurplejesus says: May 30, 2012 3:19 PM

    Good Riddance! This guy was terrible for the Vikings last year…it was like watching the same highlight over and over, he got burned constantly…football is clearly not a good career choice for him, especially if he’s getting concussions…

  28. hyzers says: May 30, 2012 3:26 PM

    teamobijuan says:
    May 30, 2012 3:04 PM
    Here are the names I’d at the top 10 in the NFL. 1 is from the NFC North. In no order:

    Rodgers
    Brady
    Manning
    Manning
    Brees
    Vick
    Roethlisberger
    Schaub
    Romo
    Ryan

    About here is where you’d put Cutler and Stafford. Stafford has the best WR in the NFL.
    ———————————————
    lol Vick, Romo, Schaub and Ryan are better than Stafford? Yeah OK. Stafford was just the 4th QB to throw for over 5k yards. It was his first full season playing QB and is 23 years old. Take away all the yards he passed to CJ and Stafford still had more than Eli did in the regular season. Haters like you make me laugh.

  29. teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 3:28 PM

    Yardage is what defines a good QB?

  30. thegreatgabbert says: May 30, 2012 3:29 PM

    Asher was in a hurry to become a “former player” so he could join the lawsuits. Beats getting your brains bashed out for a living.

  31. candyandavan says: May 30, 2012 3:30 PM

    rodgers419 says:
    May 30, 2012 2:59 PM
    If he walked away because of concussions then he is a fool.

    I hope he doesn’t plan on driving any automobiles, what if he gets in a crash? Swimming in the ocean?? Are you crazy, there’s sharks!

    Really dude? Sharks? In the ocean, you’ve got to watch for loose seal who are wearing yellow bow ties. Especially if they have a taste for mammal blood.

  32. teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 3:31 PM

    @hyzers

    How many winning teams did Glorious Matt Stafford beat in 2011? How much playoff yardage did he have?

  33. rickrock6661982 says: May 30, 2012 3:32 PM

    Yeah..I’d take Stafford over both Romo and Ryan

    Hell…I might even take the quitter Jay Cutler over Matt Ryan

  34. hawkforlife says: May 30, 2012 3:34 PM

    but it’s impossible not to wonder
    ————————————————–
    Really. Maybe for you but how many 24 year olds ever think about their long term health. I know I didn’t. It’s only impossible because you want it to be so you can make a story out of it.

  35. infectorman says: May 30, 2012 3:36 PM

    @kodakinvegas:

    I think you meant the phrase, “off-kilter”.

    Anyway, these kids deciding to forgo the millions in lieu of a semblance of normalcy as they age have a really tough decision to make. Athletic and talented enough to play at the highest level in the NFL, yet wary enough of the downside of the injuries.
    It would appear that inferred reasoning behind Junior’s gun shot to the chest instead of head, if true, has had a real impact on some of the young athletes who find themselves where he ( and others) was 20-25 years ago as athletes.
    I guess money isn’t everything…

  36. teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 3:42 PM

    ANSWER

    The 2011 Lions and fearsome Matt Stafford beat 0 teams better than 500. Got to pad some stats against the Vikings twice, though. Lost to Green Bay’s backup QB.

    Wins:

    Panthers
    Vikes x2
    Bears x1
    Chiefs
    Bucs
    Broncos
    Raiders
    Chargers
    Cowboys

    Man, he ran the table against the NFL’s elite.

  37. monkeyhateclean says: May 30, 2012 4:04 PM

    What was your favorite Asher Allen moment? Mine was that one time when he was terrible at football, all the time.

  38. EJ says: May 30, 2012 4:09 PM

    It was probably about the concussions. Many players former and present would agree that the concussions are something you don’t take lightly. Even one or two can force long term problems, never less 5 or more which has happened to a bunch of them. Football is an awesome sport, It just has some danger that comes along with it. There are risks with many professions, and sometimes the negatives outweigh the positives.

  39. buffaloviking says: May 30, 2012 4:16 PM

    The Vikes just got better again, things are looking up, he couldnt cover a pop-warner receiver. GO VIKES

  40. rickrock6661982 says: May 30, 2012 4:19 PM

    I wasn’t aware Stafford played on defense, teamobijuan

    Then again, anyone that takes Matt “ICE” Ryan as a top ten QB shouldn’t be taken seriously to begin with.

    Christ…even Tebow could produce some points in the playoffs

  41. rallen69 says: May 30, 2012 4:22 PM

    he was a horrible player. being constantly burned up and down the field anybody could get past him. the vikings wont be missing out on much. but i wish him the best and hope the concussions didnt cause brain damage.

  42. veence69 says: May 30, 2012 4:27 PM

    daysend564 says: May 30, 2012 2:52 PM

    I smell a 1st round pick exchange for Mike Jenkins in the making.
    _____________

    Because they lost Asher Allen..?

  43. teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 4:30 PM

    Hide your .500 teams

    The Lions are on the loose

  44. fwippel says: May 30, 2012 4:32 PM

    While this is a surprise, Allen was not starting caliber material. He would have competed for a the nickel-back position, but with the offseason additions, he may not have made the roster.

    I hope the guy is going to be alright, though. Tough to walk away from the game at that age.

  45. rickrock6661982 says: May 30, 2012 4:41 PM

    I can’t blame Asher

    Paul Allen is enough to drive me away from football as well

  46. hyzers says: May 30, 2012 4:58 PM

    teamobijuan: Hilarious watching you shift the field goal posts during this debate. I thought we were talking about best QBs not best teams?

    Tim Tebow had a playoff win, does that put him in the top 10 QBs? Idiot.

    To answer your question, Stafford threw for 380 yards and 3 TDs in his only playoff game. 97 QBR.

  47. stercuilus65 says: May 30, 2012 5:12 PM

    He’s already made 1.7 million dollars and even assuming they force him to give back 175K of his signing bonus he will have earned 1.5 million. That’s about 30 years salary assuming 50 thousand a year for the median US worker.
    That’s 30 years salary in three years. Why not walk away when he’s healthy? He should never have money worries if he was smart with his earnings.

  48. teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 5:15 PM

    Romo’s got as many playoff Ws as Stafford then, pal. Romo had a higher passer rating for the regular season, too.

  49. teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 5:16 PM

    Actually, Romo has MORE, haha, my bad. Forgot that Stafford lost because he was playing a team with a >.500 record.

  50. despenc925 says: May 30, 2012 5:44 PM

    he pulled a Glenn Coffee…the irony is when Glenn did it he had the same coach as Asher…MIKE SINGLETARY!! crazy isn’t it!!

  51. forevermore5220 says: May 30, 2012 6:09 PM

    teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 3:04 PM

    Here are the names I’d at the top 10 in the NFL. 1 is from the NFC North. In no order:

    Rodgers
    Brady
    Manning
    Manning
    Brees
    Vick
    Roethlisberger
    Schaub
    Romo
    Ryan

    About here is where you’d put Cutler and Stafford. Stafford has the best WR in the

    by far one of the dumbest lists ive ever seen. matt ryan is a joke and stafford is better than 3 people on ur list. cutler is better than ryan. as is flacco. what a joke. where is phillip rivers? clown

  52. lolb23 says: May 30, 2012 6:13 PM

    teamobijuan says: May 30, 2012 3:42 PM

    ANSWER

    The 2011 Lions and fearsome Matt Stafford beat 0 teams better than 500. Got to pad some stats against the Vikings twice, though. Lost to Green Bay’s backup QB.

    Wins:

    Panthers
    Vikes x2
    Bears x1
    Chiefs
    Bucs
    Broncos
    Raiders
    Chargers
    Cowboys

    Man, he ran the table against the NFL’s elite.
    ________________________________

    Interesting spin. Taking it a look from a different angle –

    Bears finished 8-8
    Broncos finished 8-8
    Raiders finished 8-8
    Chargers finished 8-8
    Cowboys finished 8-8

    If the Lions don’t beat those 5 teams, all of them finish with above .500 records. The Lions didn’t beat anyone who finished above .500, but it’s because the Lions beat them that they didn’t finish with winning records.

  53. marko959 says: May 30, 2012 6:27 PM

    “Allen retired because he recently became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He reached the decision shortly after being drafted, but wanted to fulfill his obligation to the Minnesota Vikings. The concussion issues may have been a catalyst to accelerating his timetable, but this was already in the cards.”

    That figures. I was married to one. Maybe he and Prince can get together and compare notes on how dumb they are for joining a cult.

  54. briang123 says: May 30, 2012 6:32 PM

    When someone with the potential and talent of someone like Cam Newton or Von Miller retires at age 24 due to “health risks,” call me maybe. Until then…….

  55. asherallencanttackle says: May 30, 2012 6:34 PM

    He was a longshot to make the roster anyway. I’m pissed though because now I’m going to have to pick a new name.

  56. vikesfansteve says: May 30, 2012 6:42 PM

    The worst was Robert Smith retiring out of the blue before the 2002 season. That really hurt the team bad. They went 5-11 and only made the playoffs once in the next 6 seasons. If Smith stayed the Vikings would have easily been back in the playoffs perinially.

  57. timegambit says: May 30, 2012 6:42 PM

    That’s sounds noble and righteous now, but wait for his ass to flatten out due to sitting behind a desk for 60 hrs a week and he has to start paying for drinks and hookers like the rest of us…He’ll be back.

    If Brett Favre taught us anything, it’s that an ego that has been over-fed most of it’s life will not accept the terms of a diet.

    I call it the “Oprah” affect.

  58. tastyrerun says: May 30, 2012 6:52 PM

    If what @Mavajo says is true and Allen retired because he became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses (joining former Vikings cornerback Windlan Hall in the Former Vikings Secondary Members Who Became Jehovah’s Witnesses Club) then he almost certainly will not be getting his degree. Jehovah’s Witnesses are strongly discouraged against getting college educations or playing organized sports. Maybe if your lucky though, he might visit your house to offer you a Watchtower or Awake and you can ask him to sign your treasured Asher Allen replica jersey.

  59. matthewcarlson1 says: May 30, 2012 9:51 PM

    phillip rivers is not in any top 10, he’s a scrub and a horrible person. And he’s ugly as fuk

  60. vikinganswer says: May 30, 2012 10:19 PM

    Mike Jenkins is not worth more than a 5th.

    Paul Allen is good.

    Good luck Asher Allen on wherever that cult takes you. But at least you will be healthy.

  61. frank booth says: May 31, 2012 12:19 AM

    rickrock6661982 says:
    May 30, 2012 3:32 PM
    Yeah..I’d take Stafford over both Romo and Ryan

    Hell…I might even take the quitter Jay Cutler over Matt Ryan
    ====================================
    Actually, Cutler never quit anything. A lot of ignorant viewers who call themselves fans bought into it during the championship game, not realizing that Cutler had taken more hits than any other QB in the past 2 years and continually came back to play. It was ludicrous to think that after all of that, he would pull himself out of a championship game without being hurt.

    I get it- tiny minds like to hate on Cutler, because he is a surly, unlikable character. They can’t think for themselves so they let others tell them what to think. Those that can think for themselves realize that while he is a jerk, he’s a tough, talented player that can thrive with the right cast around him.

  62. discosucs2005 says: May 31, 2012 2:49 AM

    I like how a lot of people know what Asher Allen should have done with his life.

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