Jared Allen retires after 12 years in the NFL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Former Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen announced his retirement Thursday morning in grand fashion.

Allen, who turns 34 on April 3, posted a 20-second video on Twitter of himself sitting on a horse with dark skies as the background.

“Well, everyone, I just want to say thank you for an amazing 12-year career,” Allen said. “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.”

Allen’s agent, Ken Harris of Optimum Sports Management, followed up with a statement on behalf of his client via email.

“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,” Allen said in the statement. “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.”

Oct. 7, 2007; Kansas City, MO; Then-Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen (69) celebrates after a play against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium. (AP Photo/Dick Whipple)

Oct. 7, 2007; Kansas City, MO; Then-Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen (69) celebrates after a play against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium. (AP Photo/Dick Whipple)

The 6-6, 265-pound Allen played 12 games for the Panthers in 2015 after being traded by the Bears on Sept. 28.

Allen, a native of Dallas, originally entered the league in 2004 out of Idaho State as a fourth-round pick of the Chiefs.

He spent the first four seasons of his career in Kansas City and recorded 43 sacks in that span before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a first- and third-round pick.

The Chiefs eventually used the draft picks acquired in the trade on offensive lineman Branden Albert and running back Jamaal Charles in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Allen finished his playing career appearing in 187 games (181 starts), totaling 136 sacks, 642 tackles (498 solo), 32 forced fumbles, 19 fumble recoveries, four safeties and six interceptions.

The Associated Press named Allen a first-team All-Pro selection four times in his career, the first coming in 2007 with the Chiefs when he recorded 15 ½ sacks.

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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