Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen is hanging up his cleats and putting on his cowboy boots.
The 12-year defensive end whom the Panthers traded for this season posted a video through his Twitter account announcing his retirement from football.
“Hello, everyone, I just want to say thank you for an amazing 12-year career,” Allen says while on horseback. “This was the part where I was going to ride off into the sunset but seeing how there’s no sunset, I’m just going to ride off.”
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Allen, 33, finishes his career in a tie for ninth all-time in career sacks with 136. He played six years in Kansas City, four in Minnesota, one in Chicago while splitting his final season between the Bears and Panthers.
Carolina traded Chicago a 2016 sixth-round pick for Allen in late September when defensive end Charles Johnson was placed on temporary injured reserve.
The four-time All Pro posted two sacks for the Panthers in the 2015 and started Super Bowl 50.
Allen’s retirement means the Panthers, who were not going to retain Allen at his cap number, will save $8.5 million in cap space.
Allen released a statement to the Observer through his agent, Ken Harris.
“I want to take this time to thank my family, friends, fans and teammates who have given their continued support throughout my 12 year career,” the statement reads. “It’s been a great ride for me, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the memories. It is with a great deal of thought and consideration that I have decided that I will not return to football next year.
“I want to thank the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and the Kansas City Chiefs organizations, who provided me with an opportunity to live out my dream and to be a part of their wonderful communities. Thanks for the life long memories.”
Tied with Julius Peppers in all-time sacks, Allen has a realistic shot at the Hall of Fame. Of the eight players in front of him, six are in the Hall of Fame already. Kevin Greene will enter later this year and the other, Jason Taylor, will be eligible next year.
Allen has a knack for recalling individual sacks out of his 136. Asked before the Super Bowl if he had ever sacked Peyton Manning, he immediately recalled his only sack of the five-time NFL MVP, which occurred in 2008.
A fourth-round pick out of Idaho State in 2004, Allen had more sacks since 2004 than any other player in the league. He led the NFL in sacks in 2007 with 15 1/2, and he sniffed the all-time single-season record in 2011 with the Vikings.
Allen finished that season with 22 sacks, one sack shy of breaking Michael Strahan’s record of 22 1/2.