Vikings defensive end Jared Allen’s entering the final year of his contract, but he said Wednesday he had “no beefs” with the way the team has handled him.
The 31-year-old is due to make more than $14 million this season, the final year of his deal with the Vikings, and said once the season starts, he wants to focus on football.
“Then everybody comes to the table at the same place,” Allen said, via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. “A lot of guys try to get more money before [the deal’s up]. Hey, I signed a contract for six years. They signed a contract for six years. It’s very, very rare when both sides honor that. A lot of guys get let go in the last year or restructure in the last year. A lot guys, . . . they play one good year and they want to re-up.
“For me, this is the commitment I made — let me honor that. They want to honor it. So, that’s great. For me, I’ve got no beefs, no quarrels, no nothing with it.”
Of course, if the Vikings wanted to keep him around beyond this year, an extension would help beat his salary cap number below its current $17 million plus.
Allen’s coming off shoulder surgery, and was clearly playing in pain last year. But he also had 12 sacks, his sixth straight season in double digits.
That steady production, and his contract, keeps him in good stead while other guys who hit the market this offseason struggled.
“You’ve got guys like Dwight Freeney, he [was] looking for a job,” Allen said. “John Abraham, he had a 10-sack year and he’s struggling. But teams also, I understand, need to look at the longevity of what you can get.
“Both those guys are both 13, 14 years in, so you’ve got to start looking at that. I think a lot of it is a numbers game, too. What’s their production? How can they help our team win? It’s just like anything — they’re trying to get us for the cheapest and everybody on the other side is trying to get as much money as they possibly can, right? I don’t tend to worry about everybody else.”
Clearly the Vikings want to see how he responds before making a longer commitment, but Allen said he didn’t see the need to take a pay cut, even though other veteran pass rushers haven’t fared well.