As the excitement builds for the biggest NFL game of the year, Carolina Panthers fans have to be wondering whether their exciting defensive end will be retiring.
One of the biggest questions surrounding Super Bowl 50 is what is up with Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen. Will return for one more season, or will be his final game of a long 12 year career.
Recently it was reported that the veteran would be suiting up for the big game, after missing the NFC Championship game due to a broken bone in his foot. Adding a healthy Jared Allen to an already pretty impressive Panthers defense is a pretty big addition in their quest for a Super Bowl championship. Win or lose, Allen will be faced with the question of whether or not he will be hanging up the cleats.
As an outsider, it’s pretty easy to see it is time to hang it up. Allen’s career has been on the downswing since his days in Minnesota, where his career peaked. Since leaving Minnesota, Allen has a total of 56 tackles and eight sacks, in two seasons with the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. This is after having at least 40 tackles and 10 sacks in four of his six seasons in Minnesota. So, it’s clear the once explosive pass rusher is not who he once was.
If Allen values his life after football at all, it is time to hang it up, before he does any more damage to his body and brain. This is becoming especially concerning as we hear more and more stories of former players unable to walk up or down stairs, or unable to remember certain things about life. So, if Allen wants to be able to do those types of things after football, the Super Bowl is a nice time to say goodbye.
However, as a former high school football player, who is nowhere near the talent level of Jared Allen, I understand the pull from the sport you enjoy, and why it would be hard to walk away. So, if Jared Allen decides to go for one more year, especially if the Denver Broncos beat his Carolina Panthers, then I won’t stand in his way (not that I would ever wish stand in the way of him and his ability to rip my head off).