New Bears defensive end Jared Allen downplayed the notion that he might retire if he hadn’t gotten the right deal.
He just wasn’t going to play for a bad team.
“It was never my intent but my point was that if I was going to throw my cleats and pads on for a team that had no chance,” Allen said, via Master Tesfatsion of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “They’re rebuilding at this point in your career and you’re laying it all out there because I still feel like I’m the best at what I do. If not the (best), one of.
“There’s always a threshold that I had to excess and say, ‘Is it worth going below this?’ But that was kind of my process going through. It was never, ‘Oh, if I don’t get X amount of dollars, I’m walking away.’ That was never the case.”
Allen’s four-year deal with the Bears is worth up to $32 million, with $15.5 million the first two years. He had some interest from the Seahawks, but insisted the Bears weren’t far from contending.
“Absolutely this team is closer than people think,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, Seattle is a great team and they have great parts. They’re also in a crazy good division where the Niners aren’t no joke out there either. But the Bears, I don’t know statistically what it is but just playing against them, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are two of the top receivers you’re going to play against at that size. I know what it takes to prepare for this offense, and it [stinks].”
While everyone might not share his view of the Bears as a contender, their division does present fewer roadblocks. And if they can manage his snaps, he has shown a consistent production that should allow him to be a factor late in the year, if they are.