CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers have acquired veteran defensive end Jared Allen from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 2016 sixth-round draft pick.
The Bears announced the trade Monday, and it will become official pending Allen passing a physical, Panthers team spokesman Steven Drummond told The Associated Press.
“We had some depth at the linebacker position,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said in a press release. “… Whether it is acquiring additional picks or signing players, we will continue to be aggressive in finding ways to improve our football team. We appreciate Jared’s contributions and wish him the best in Carolina.”
The Panthers made the move after Charles Johnson, their top pass rusher, went down with a hamstring injury during Sunday’s 27-22 win over the New Orleans Saints. Johnson already has been ruled out of the Week 4 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, although coach Ron Rivera wouldn’t speculate on the severity of the injury.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday night on his weekly radio show that the trade possibility came about in the morning.
“We watched a lot of tape on Allen today and wanted to make sure he’s a fit,” Rivera said on the show. “We didn’t want to wait when we found out there was an opportunity.”
Rivera believes it will be an easy transition for Allen, a five-time Pro Bowl selection. The 33-year-old has 134 career sacks — more than any active player in the NFL — during his 12 seasons, but his production has dropped off sharply since joining Chicago last season and playing in its 3-4 defense. He’ll play in a more familiar 4-3 scheme with Carolina.
The 6-foot-6, 255-pound Allen started his career with the Kansas City Chiefs and made an immediate impact with 43 sacks in his first four seasons before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings. His production only went up from there, with Allen posting double-digit sack numbers in six consecutive seasons, including 22 in 2011.
Since joining the Bears, Allen has just 5.5 sacks in 18 games, including none this season.
Allen has forced 31 fumbles during his career and has six interceptions.
Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports Images