Jared Allen: No hard feelings, potential trade was 'sign of respect'
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen stayed glued to his television to see if he'd be dealt just hours before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline.
Sometime after 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Allen cleared the air with general manager Rick Spielman and said there's no hard feelings.
"I understand this business, I truly do," Allen said. "I understand where we're at in the season. As a matter of fact, I take it as a sign of respect that they still think I have value."
"Even yesterday, I'm getting text messages from all these media people - I said, 'I don't know, I'm watching TV like the rest of y'all."
Allen, 31, is in the last year of his contract and has seen a decline in production since his career year in 2011. Coming off multiple offseason surgeries, Allen still leads the Vikings with 4.5 sacks this season and was reportedly shopped to suitors like the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, but couldn't get a deal done.
Apparently a deal wasn't even close enough to being done for Allen to know.
"I don't even know how serious it was. They never called me. I was never like borderline getting ready to go anywhere," Allen said.
Under the weight of a 1-6 record, Coach Leslie Frazier said a potential Allen trade wasn't at the front of his mind.
"I wasn't worried about it," Frazier said. "We've got so many things that we're dealing with that I didn't think about it a whole lot. I expected him to be here."
Allen has 78.5 career sacks in his sixth season in purple and appeared relieved that he didn't have to make an in-season switch.
"When you hear all this stuff, you feel like you don't love what you've got until it's almost taken away," Allen said. "I've been here six years and even the thought of yesterday having to leave was, you're kind of like, thinking logistics, if this did happen, I've got to get my family here...And I love the Vikings, I really do. I've put my heart and soul into this place for six years, I want to win here."
The Vikings allowed a season-high 44 points in Sunday night's loss to the Green Bay Packers and Allen was taped on the sideline making comments regarding how bad this defensive unit has been compared to his other nine years in the NFL.
"When I made that comment: 'This is the worst defense I've ever been on,' it had nothing to do with the players, nothing to do with calls, nothing to do with any of that," Allen said. "We're not performing. It has everything to do with performance, and that was the worst defensive performance I'd ever been a part of."
The Vikings defense currently ranks 30th in the NFL in points allowed (32.1) and yardage allowed (401.6) and gave up 13-of-18 third-down conversions, not including 2-of-2 on fourth down attempts to the Packers on Sunday night.
Allen did not register anything on the stat sheet for the second game this season, first time since a Sept. 22 loss to the Cleveland Browns. This time, however, Allen didn't go up against Browns' Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas, but Packers' rookie David Bakhtiari.
The Pro Bowler's decline hasn't seemed so evident as this year. Allen went without recording a tackle, assisted tackle, sack or pass deflection just twice in his first five years at Minnesota and has already done it twice in six games this season.
"I saw the coaches today. I said, 'If there's more I can do, let me know. Coach me harder. Coach me," Allen said.