HOF nominee Jared Allen’s ‘one regret’ is not joining Seahawks in 2014
No one wants to talk about Super Bowl XLIX. At least not anyone in Washington state. So, I’ll do my best to talk around it, but it’s at the center of a pretty interesting story about the time one of the best pass rushers in the league almost became a member of the Seattle Seahawks.
Given that it’s Super Bowl week – and this player is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame – it seems like the perfect time to take a trip down memory lane.
It starts ahead of Seattle’s last trip to a Super Bowl. In March 2014, the Seahawks were negotiating a deal with former Chiefs and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, a four time First-Team All-Pro. By that point in his career, the 32-year-old Allen had racked up 128.5 sacks, good for 12th all-time in league history. Just two seasons prior, he’d fallen half a sack short of tying Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5.
Allen registered 11.5 sacks in 2013, but given his age and Seattle’s depth at the time, he would have been filling a role as a situational pass rusher for the Seahawks in 2014. But regardless of the smaller role, it was intriguing enough for Allen to make two trips to Seattle and reportedly enter the final stages of negotiations.
A few days later, though, Allen surprised fans by signing a four-year, $32 million deal with the Chicago Bears.
Allen joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy on Thursday to talk about what went into the decision to go with Chicago over Seattle, and why it might be the only regret of his career.
“You know what? It really was (that) we just couldn’t come together on the contract,” Allen explained. “And it’s no disrespect to anybody, that organization was phenomenal, my wife and I really wanted to be there. I still today say that’s probably – if I have one regret in my career, it was not just signing with the Seahawks and finishing it up there. Everything they said I loved, and the organization was phenomenal. It seemed like fun, and that was the biggest part. I was really looking to try to have fun in my last couple years … we were trying to get the deal to work, it didn’t really come together.”
The reason Allen ended up with the Bears is a pretty one.
“Chicago came in last minute and kind of, (it was) the one time I took the money,” Allen said with a laugh. “They made me an offer I couldn’t say no to. That’s kind of what happened there. But yeah, it was all but a done deal. I think my wife was still mad at me for not getting that one done, especially when (the Seahawks) were playing in the Super Bowl that year in Arizona. One of my dearest friends Kevin Williams was on the team and watching him I was like, ‘Aw man, we just had a miserable season in Chicago and here’s Kev playing in the Super Bowl. Should’ve signed with Seattle.’”
Like any story about an almost-signing, fans and player alike wonder what could have been. But this, of course, is where I promised not to mention Super Bowl XLIX (nor whether adding an All-Pro pass rusher would have made a difference.) So instead, I’ll let you know that Allen gives his prediction about another Super Bowl – this weekend’s game – in his interview. He also talks about a bet he made to make it to the Olympics as part of a curling team.
Listen to the full interview here or in the player below.