On Wednesday morning, the Chicago Bears announced that they had signed defensive end Jared Allen to a four-year, $32 million deal. This deal was only able to be completed because Jay Cutler restructured his deal with the Bears on Tuesday to free up an additional $4 million in cap space for this season. This money came out of Cutler’s base salary and was converted to a signing bonus. Now the question remains: will Allen live up to his deal?
In 2013, Allen recorded 11 sacks with the Minnesota Vikings. Going forward, Allen will be rushing the quarterback opposite of either Lamarr Houston or Willie Young. Houston has the ability to move inside, which could allow for all three new acquisitions to be on the field at the same time. This could have been the determining factor in Allen’s decision to sign with the Bears over the Seattle Seahawks, with whom he had visited prior to the Bears.
Allen had come out saying that he would only sign a deal that he felt was fair to him, meaning that he wanted money and playing time. The Seahawks have a great defensive unit in place already, and Allen would have needed to find a place to fill in on the field. With the Bears, however, he has a great chance to win a Super Bowl and still be a primary contributor on defense.
Bears fans should be drooling over the thought of how much better Lamarr Houston just became because of this signing also. Offensive coaches will now need to decide whether to double-team Allen or Houston, which leaves the other with only one man to beat to the quarterback. Phil Emery seems to have struck gold repeated this offseason.