Jared Allen is set to make his long awaited appearance in a Super Bowl in a few days. The question from this is will the 12 year vet retire after this season, or try to play for one more year. The Panthers will most likely look to cut Allen because of the 8 million left on the last year of his contract.
Enter the Pittsburgh Steelers and their glaring need for an edge rusher. Is there a fit here? Well clearly Jared Allen is on the down side of his career. The pass rush specialist is coming off an injury plagued season where he recorded only 2 sacks. He didn’t fare much better in 2014 for the Vikings. That season Allen only managed 5.5 sacks in 15 games. Jared Allens career sack numbers though are very impressive. He had double digit sack totals for 7 straight seasons from 2007 through 2013. Included in that, was a 22 sack season in
Would the Steelers be interested in Jared Allen? Allen has been a 4-3 defensive end his entire career. That’s not the defense the Steelers run, as they use a 3-4 system. However, when the Steelers go to a nickel defense, Allen would fit nicely as a rush specialist. The Steelers were in nickel the majority of the game against Denver 2 weeks ago. Pittsburgh only used 2 down lineman in this scheme, with 4 linebackers, and 5 defensive backs. Allen would be a perfect pass rusher in this scheme, on a part time basis. The Steelers rotated rotated there linebackers all season anyway. Plugging Jared Allen in on passing situations could pay off in a big way.
For a team with intentions of getting to a Super Bowl, a cheap, short term fix may be just what is needed. Allen is in no way a long term solution for the Steelers. They may, however, be able to squeeze one last good season out of a veteran like Allen.