EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) Jared Allen was drafted by Kansas City. He left Minnesota for Chicago. He reached the Super Bowl with Carolina.
The Vikings were always his team, though, and Thursday he made that official when he signed a ceremonial one-day contract to formally retire in purple.
Allen, a four-time All-Pro defensive end, kept in contact with general manager Rick Spielman and vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski after signing with the Bears for 2014.
''In my heart, when it was all said and done, I knew I wanted to retire as a Viking,'' Allen said on a conference call with Minnesota reporters. He added: ''It was one of those mutual things.''
Allen spent six of his 12 seasons with the Vikings, ranking third on the franchise's list with 83 1/2 sacks. Allen didn't miss a game for Minnesota, starting 96 regular-season contests and four playoff games after being acquired in a trade with the Chiefs in 2008. He was signed then to what at the time was the richest contract by a defensive player in league history. In 2011, Allen's 22 sacks finished a half-sack short of Michael Strahan's single-season record.
After getting in trouble with alcohol several times while with Kansas City, Allen got his life in order off the field.
''I made some mistakes early in my career, and you learn from those and you grow from them,'' said Allen, whose 136 sacks are the ninth most in NFL history. ''Minnesota was a place that helped me grow as a man.''
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