Former Bears defensive end and outside linebacker Jared Allen announced his retirement Thursday after 12 NFL seasons.
Allen, 33, signed with the Bears in March 2014 and was traded to the Carolina Panthers last Sept. 28. He arrived in Chicago after spending his first 10 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs (2004-07) and Minnesota Vikings (2008-13).
In a video posted on his Twitter page Thursday morning, Allen sits on a horse, points to the cloudy sky behind him and says: "This is the part where I was going to ride off into the sunset. But seeing that there's no sunset, I'm just going to ride off."
Allen then turns around and rides away. The Idaho State product retires with 136 career sacks, tied with Julius Peppers for the ninth most in NFL history.
"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 a 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."
After averaging 14.5 sacks over seven seasons with the Chiefs and Vikings from 2007-13, Allen was limited to 5.5 sacks with the Bears in 2014. He spent several weeks trying to regain strength and weight after losing 15 pounds during a bout with pneumonia, which forced him to miss one game, ending his streak of 113 consecutive starts.
With the Bears switching to a 3-4 defense in 2015 under first-year coordinator Vic Fangio, Allen was moved from defensive end to outside linebacker. After a disappointing first season with the Bears, he enthusiastically embraced the change and was eager to prove himself at a new position.
But Allen did not record a sack in the first three games of the 2015 season and was dealt to the Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick. He registered two sacks in 12 regular-season games with Carolina and played in Super Bowl 50.