After threatening to retire if his terms weren't met, DE Jared Allen
found a deal he liked with the Seahawks
. (Matt Dunham/AP)
Update: NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports that Allen will take some time to decide whether he wants to accept Seattle's latest offer.
It took talks with the Denver Broncos, two visits to Seattle, some time with the Dallas Cowboys in-between and some possible retirement talk to throw observers off the scent, but the Seahawks zeroed in on free agent defensive end Jared Allen, and the two sides were in heavy talks through Thursday regarding a deal. Allen is without question the most intriguing defensive player left open on the books.
ESPN's Ed Werder was the first to report that Allen and the Seahawks were close to a deal.
Allen, who will turn 32 in April, amassed 11.5 sacks for the Minnesota Vikings in 2013, 12.0 in 2012 and 22.0 in 2011. But deals given to defensive ends Everson Griffen and Brian Robison in the last year maxed out the Vikings' market at the position, and Allen wanted to test open waters.
There was heavy talk he might sign with the Broncos, who eventually signed DeMarcus Ware instead, and with the Cowboys after Ware's departure. But it was those two visits with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider -- and the opportunity to add to the NFL's best defense -- that have moved the Seahawks close to a deal with Allen.
In 2013, Allen took 643 passing snaps and 1.043 total, all at right defensive end, adding 18 quarterback hits and 34 quarterback hurries to his sack total. He's been one of the league's best pass-rushers over the last decade, and there was word that he might walk away from the game if his terms (said to be in the realm of $10 million per year) were not met.
"He wants his market value, he wants his fair salary, and if he does not get it, Jared Allen is very much at peace," Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network said of Allen last week. "He is willing to simply go about his life and walk away from football."
But whatever Seattle offered -- and the terms have not been made public yet -- it was enough to at least pique the veteran's interest. Seattle beat the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVII, and had, by measures both traditional and sabermetric, the league's best defense. Allen would add to a rotation of outside pass-rushers that includes Cliff Avril, the recently-resigned Michael Bennett and 2012 first-round pick Bruce Irvin.
Grade: B+. We'll wait and see what the numbers say (and whether it actually happens) before giving this an A grade, but if it's a cap-friendly deal for a couple years, it'd be hard not to see this as a huge win for both sides. Allen would dominate as a situational pass-rusher in Seattle's defense, especially at CenturyLink field, and the Seahawks would get one more chip in a defense that is already unquestionably formidable.
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