According to Jay Glazer, the Chicago Bears have agreed to trade pass rusher Jared Allen to the Carolina Panthers. The trade furthers the deconstruction of the roster that was put together last season by former GM Phil Emery who spent big on a number of players, including Allen, that never worked out. From a financial standpoint there are few deals that will look worse on the books in a given year than this one. The Bears will have paid Allen $11.676 million this year for three games worth of work that resulted in 4 tackles. The Panthers will only pay Allen slightly over $823,000 for the remainder of the season.
Allen was supposed to be the final piece for the Bears last season in what was a bit of a short sigted move made by Chicago. The Bears had already loaded up on pass rushers when it became clear that the market for Allen was limited following his departure from the Vikings. Still the Bears caved in on a large guaratee of $15.5 million that would put Allen in a similar category as DeMarcus Ware and former Bear Julius Peppers. Since the team had already more or less maxed their cap room out for the year they backloaded the contract for Allen such that he would only earn $3 million in 2014 and then a big balloon payment of $11.5 million in March of 2015.
There were questions about the impact Allen would have playing full time outdoors for the first time in years after spending the majority of his career in a dome. Allen struggled with Chicago and his 5.5 sacks were a career low. The same questions will linger in Carolina but the cost is so low that almost any production will justify the cost.
This is the third big drop this year for Chicago. Earlier this summer the team released cornerback Tim Jennings despite a fully guaranteed salary. The Bears also traded Brandon Marshall a year after paying him a $7.5 million bonus on an extension. They now have about $23 million in dead money on the books this season. Their willingess to eat money may also indicate a willingness to eat some money to move Jay Cutler off the team. Cutler already has $10 million of his 2016 salary guaranteed, which is less than what they just paid Allen to go away.