Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Jared Allen retires from the NFL after twelve seasons.
The Carolina Panthers have begun the off season and the already there is some news. Jared Allen, who joined the team early in the season, retired yesterday in a video that demonstrated his love of all things cowboy. Allen spent twelve years in the NFL has a dominant pass rusher. He spent his early years in Kansas City before joining Minnesota and Chicago in search of a ring. He finally ended up in Carolina and got his chance at a Super Bowl and now he decides to hang it up.
Allen seems to be joined at the hip to another Panther pass rusher of the past, Julius Peppers. Allen retired tied with Peppers in active sacks with 136 and is also tied with Peppers at number nine all time in sacks. Peppers will likely play next year to break those ties, but it gives Allen a good shot at the Hall of Fame.
It also means that Allen is not on the books for next year. That frees up some eight million to pursue other players. That eight million is a big deal with new deals potentially coming for Josh Norman, Mike Tolbert, and Mike Remmers among others. It may give the Panthers the ability to franchise Norman without losing their flexibility.
As for Allen’s position, it is fair to say the Panthers are in pretty good shape there. Kony Ealy played a heck of a Super Bowl and deserves a move into the starting lineup. There is also Mario Addison and the potential return of Wes Horton for additional depth on the line.
Something that went a little under my radar was the entry of Roman Harper and Jerricho Cotchery as free agents. While the Panthers do have a physical replacement in Tre Boston, I don’t want to shed the leadership characters on the team yet, and the team just lost Allen. Cotchery may be a casualty of the return of Kelvin Benjamin to the offense.
Then there is the Draft. Dave Gettleman might do anything in that draft.