Panthers defensive end Jared Allen walked away from the NFL on Thursday, leaving the game he played for 12 seasons with four teams.
Allen retired in a very unique way, announcing it sitting atop his horse, releasing a short video on Twitter.
“I was going to ride off into the sunset, but seeing there is no sunset I’m just going to ride off,” Allen said.
The 33-year-old finished his NFL career with 136 career sacks, which ranks 9th right now in NFL history. He led the league in sacks twice, in 2007 and 2011.
He was due to make $8.25 million under the 2016 salary cap and it was highly unlikely the Panthers would have paid him that salary.
Allen played four seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings, where he spent the next six years. He played two full seasons with Chicago before joining the Panthers early in the 2015 season in a trade.
“I want to take this time to thank my family, friends, fans, and teammates who have given their continued support throughout my 12-year career,” Allen said in a statement on the team’s website. “It’s been a great ride for me, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the memories. It is with a great deal of thought and consideration that I have decided that I will not return to football next year.
“I want to thank the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and the Kansas City Chiefs organizations, who provided me with an opportunity to live out my dream and to be a part of their wonderful communities. Thanks for the lifelong memories.”