Minnesota Vikings cornerback Asher Allen abruptly retired from the NFL this week. At only 24 years of age, the move left many scratching their heads. Although the move is strange, I believe it will benefit the franchise long-term.
First off let me say that on one hand, I feel the Allen retirement is sad. It would seem there’s more to the story than just a guy deciding to hang up his cleats. Some are speculating it could be due to a concussion issues, or maybe that he just lost his love for the game. At this time it’s unclear what the exact reason is.
On the other hand, if Allen is just at a place in his life where he no longer needs football, and he wants to focus on being a good family man, that’s great. Not everyone plays 15 years in the league, some get their fill sooner than later, and Allen apparently has had his fill. That’s okay, good for him.
Now onto the impact for the Vikings. Clearly losing a talented young player with experience in the system, is not a good thing. As with any situation though, I try to look at the positives.
The positive here is that the Vikings have a lot of depth in their secondary, and the retirement creates an open spot, which creates competition, which makes everyone involved better.
Young players, particularly Josh Robinson, should get a shot right away to fill the void left by Allen.
On a team that’s in rebuild mode like Minnesota, getting young players on the field sooner than later is a good thing. Sure, there will probably be an adjustment period, but it’s not like this happened during training camp. The team will have several months to prepare their secondary without Allen, and by the time the season starts, the young players should be up to speed.
Allen’s departure continues the trend of out with the old, in with the new, for a secondary that was dismal a year ago. I say let’s embrace it, and see what the new guys can do.