Yesterday, the Chicago Bears released 34-year-old defensive end Julius Peppers, which was no surprise. In attempts to fill that void, the Bears wasted no time during the first day of free agency, and signed defensive end Lamarr Houston, formerly a member of the Oakland Raiders.
Elsewhere in the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings decided not to re-sign defensive end Jared Allen, and let him wander the free agent market. After the release of Peppers, and the signing of Houston, there were reports that Allen was in contact with the Bears’ organization.
After playing 10 years in the NFL, Allen is still considered one of the best pass rushers in the league. The four-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler has recorded double-digit sacks the past seven consecutive seasons, and seems to have not lost a step despite being 31-years old.
Although the Bears and the veteran defensive end appeared to have been in contact, chances are that Allen will still ask for a major contract. Allen appeared to be very close to agreeing on a deal with the Denver Broncos during the second day of free agency. However, that negotiation fell through when the Broncos decided to sign DeMarcus Ware.
According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, Denver offered Allen the same deal that Ware agreed to (a three-year, $30 million contact). Allen decided not to sign once it was revealed that the Broncos were negotiating with Ware simultaneously.
Obviously, the $30 million left on the table wasn’t enough to lure Allen to the Mile High City. This leaves the indication that if Chicago actually wants to add the league’s third-leading sacker among active players, they will have to open up their wallet quite a bit.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.