Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen has played 12 years for four teams. And though Allen is under contract for 2016, he’s not sure whether he’ll suit up for a 13th season.
Allen, 33, acquired in September in a trade with Chicago, said Wednesday if he plays next year it would only be with the Panthers.
“I’m not going to play for another team,” Allen said. “I take every year for what it is. I make assessments after the year on how my body feels. It’s going to be a tough offseason. I’ve got things I’ve got to get fixed. I go through the same process year in and year out. We’ll see what happens at the end of the year.”
Allen says he might need to undergo back surgery to “clean up” a disc he ruptured last season with the Bears.
The Panthers are paying Allen $823,000 this season after the Bears picked up $11.5 million. But Allen will be due $8.5 million next year, when he’ll be 34 and presumably coming off back surgery.
Allen has two sacks in 11 games, eight of them with the Panthers, this season. The NFL’s leading active sacks leader, who has never played in a Super Bowl, is soaking up the Panthers’ 12-0 season.
“For right now I’m enjoying this ride and enjoying playing football and enjoying the locker room and this team,” Allen said. “It’s been a cool deal.”