The Bears announced this morning that they signed DE Jared Allen to a four-year deal.
According to Adam Schefter, the Bears gave Allen a “four-year, $32M deal that voids down to three years of $24M, of which $15.5M is fully guaranteed.” The Seahawks were reported to have offered a two-year, $12 million deal.
That’s Michale Bennett-level money and likely more than the Seahawks were willing to spend.
Allen had visited twice last week with the Seahawks, who appeared to be the front-runner for his services next season. But, he left without a contract and decided to join the Bears instead.
Allen would have been part of the Seahawks’ defensive line rotation and, at that price, would have been a steep investment for a club concerned with re-signing Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman.
Seattle has signed only two free agents that were not its own in the offseason: offensive lineman Stephen Schilling and wide receiver Taylor Price.
The Seahawks brought back Bennett in their biggest offseason deal, signing him to a four-year contract worth $28.5 million, with $16 million guaranteed.
Allen, 31, had 11.5 sacks last season with the Minnesota Vikings. He’s had at least 11 sacks in the last seven seasons and is a five-time Pr-Bowler.
“We’re really excited about adding Jared to our football team,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “We know what his abilities bring to the table. We believe he’s going to come in hungry & excited to be part of our football team, and we believe he’ll fit right in.”
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told NFL.com that Tony McDaniel will replace Red Bryant; Cliff Avril will replace Chris Clemons.
Update: Ed Werder, who initially said Allen was on the cusp of signing with the Seahawks, says on Twitter he received a text from Allen who told Werder the Bears came in at the last minute.
Allen sent out a statement through his agents.
“I’d like to take a moment to thank my former teammates, coaches and the staff at the Minnesota Vikings for all of their inspiring work and dedication,” Allen said in the statement. “Perhaps more importantly I would like to thank the fans and the Minnesota community. I can only hope that I have left with you all with even a fraction of the positive support and impact you have had on my life, my foundation and my family.
“I am very excited about this next chapter in my career with the Chicago Bears and can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. God bless.”