Jared Allen, Hawk Tease

Just a few short days ago reports surfaced that Jared Allen, a once great, and probably-presently-pretty-good defensive end had agreed to terms with the Seahawks. We’d later find out that this wasn’t true, that Allen hadn’t agree, and that he’d spend the weekend making his decision. The weekend came and passed, and Allen’s camp gave no material indication of where he’d end up.

On Wednesday we found out that Allen had signed with a surprise team, inking a four-year deal with the Chicago Bears. The deal is for $32 million, and contains $15.5 million in guarantees, and is probably really something more like a two or three-year deal that has been made a four-year deal to manipulate the salary cap.

There’s not a chance that you’ve read this website for very long and thought, “I wish these guys made more sports-to-romantic-relationships analogies.” Maybe we make exactly the right amount, or maybe we make too many, but we definitely don’t make too few.

A lot of Seahawks fans said some very celebratory things when they read the news that Jared Allen would sign in Seattle. A lot of fans felt the joy they would have felt had Allen signed with Seattle. Now they’re forced to feel the embarrassment of having to rescind those feelings, and atone for those words.

What happened with Jared Allen is something like when someone meets a girl and opens some line of communication. For the sake of this, and for my not being in tune with all the potential lines of communication one might seek a date on, let’s say you’re texting a girl. Everything is going great and you think there might be a real future. Sometimes, or if you’re like the version of me that was once on the dating market, a lot of the time you’ll reach a point where you lose momentum. Sometimes that can be manifested in the form of the pursuer losing interest. For example, I was once told by a girl that I was pursuing that she’d begun to exchange letters with her cousin’s boyfriend’s cellmate*. There wasn’t even a middle to that story, there was a beginning, and the end is at that period. That case could be something akin to the Raiders reneging on a contract offer they’d made to Roger Saffold and his metaphorically aggravatedly murderous joints, or something (allegedly) (not to go all Jim Rome on you fine folks).

The other opportunity is for the one being pursued to decide they don’t like being pursued, or is tired of it, or bored of it, or just doesn’t think the circumstance is compatible. I once had a woman’s phone number and was texting her back and forth for a couple of weeks. I wanted to hang out with her, but she would always find a reason to break our plans to hang out. This became frustrating, but our correspondence carried all the signs that I wasn’t just barking up the wrong tree. Eventually these conversations fizzled, and about a year later, amid some Facebook stalking, I realized that about the time we were talking she’d been something close to a month pregnant, unbeknownst to her, and had then rekindled a relationship with her ex-boyfriend, that unbeknownst to me had just recently ended after a substantial duration.

I think they’re married now, and I harbor no material bitterness, and am as happy as I could be for some people I barely know.

This is kind of how I feel about Jared Allen. In the case of my failed pursuits, being mostly single for most of my adult life allowed me to be available when I met my present girlfriend, who I love very much. For the Seahawks, they may not find love out of this deal, but like me, they probably aren’t losing out on love either.

This circumstance works out for Allen, obviously. He got an amount money that was fine with him, ostensibly at least. For the Seahawks, it can probably work out also, provided they use the resources they’d have allocated to Allen to improve their roster.

The original contract terms reportedly agreed upon between Allen and the Seahawks was two-years, $15 million. Those terms are pretty much right on the edge of what I’d have been comfortable with. Allen wanted market value, and the Bears signed him to a total contract that is greater than what the Seahawks will pay for Michael Bennett. Jared Allen at his peak was substantially better than Michael Bennett has ever been, but only a fool signs a player’s legacy. The chances of Bennett being worth his contract are probably greater than Allen’s chances under his present contract.

The Seahawks have cleared quite a bit of cap space, but they’ve also chosen to retain Bennett, which means that adding Allen could take reps away from Bennett, marginalizing both of their values.

I assure you that this isn’t some post-rejection revisionist history. Allen is a good player, and a scenario exists where his production and pay intersect, or his production outpaces his pay – at least in the short-term. That doesn’t, however, mean that the Seahawks have a huge priority for Allen, and they may have a much higher breakeven point for Allen if his presence marginalizes the value of Michael Bennett, or whoever else the Seahawks rotate through their two end positions.

And by the way, I’ve never wanted to make love to Jared Allen. If Jared Allen wasn’t a multi-millionaire, nobody would want to make love to him. Russell Wilson on the other hand…


*For purposes of clarity, it’s worth pointing out that my interest ended at the word “letter.” Who the hell writes letters anymore? I’m pretty certain that even in prison they have access to email. Disgusting.