By Adam Hoge-
CHICAGO (CBS) — Bears general manager Phil Emery doesn’t mind talking about players not currently on a roster, and that’s exactly what he did Wednesday when Jared Allen’s name came up.
“We’re going to look at a number of players — obviously, Jared is one of those,” Emery admitted.
The former Vikings defensive end turns 32 next month, which doesn’t exactly fit the Bears’ preference to get younger on defense, but they still need another pass rusher for next season. Allen remained productive in 2013, accumulating 11.5 sacks, 29 quarterback knockdowns and nine quarterback hurries, according to STATS.
“Jared has been a great pass rusher in the league,” Emery said. “What will happen is some of those players will find teams right away. They’ll be a quick opportunity, but then there will be a settling out period where they’re going to look for the right fit. Well, he would certainly have a good fit here and a great opportunity, so we’ll see how that comes together.”
Allen is currently feeling out the market and based on his production last season probably still thinks he commands a good amount of value and a multi-year contract. An NFL Network report Wednesday indicated Allen is willing to retire if he doesn’t get “his fair value.”
That could make him a tough match for the Bears, who ideally would only want Allen on one-year contract as they develop a younger pass rusher behind him.
Allen joins free agents like Justin Tuck and Julius Peppers on a market that has been slow for older pass rushers so far. Things heated up a little bit Wednesday when DeMarcus Ware signed with the Broncos for a reported $30 million over three years, a deal that may inflate the price for Allen.
“Some of those guys’ll be sitting around for a couple weeks,” Emery said. “If history proves correct, some of them’ll still be sitting there in June. They want to find the right fit and be paid a certain amount, so the market takes a little to settle out, and do they want to play. So we’re going to be patient and see how it works out.”
In other words, the Bears are interested in Jared Allen, but only if his price tag comes down.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.