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Bears sign Jared Allen

Britain Steelers Vikings Football

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen celebrates after sacking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the first half of their NFL football game at Wembley Stadium, London, Sunday,Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)


In one of the most surprising signings in free agency to date, the Bears have acquired Jared Allen.

Allen, the former Vikings star, was widely believed to be nearing a deal with the defending champion Seahawks. Instead, he’ll stay in the NFC North but head south to Chicago.

“We are extremely happy for Jared, his wife Amy, our fans and the Chicago Bears that Jared has agreed to terms,” Bears G.M. Phil Emery said in a statement.

On the Bears’ defense, Allen serves as the replacement for Julius Peppers, who departed for the Packers in free agency.

The 31-year-old Allen may not be quite the complete, all-around player he was a few years ago. But he’s still a very good pass rusher, having recorded 11.5 sacks last season. The Bears know that Allen can get after the quarterback, and now they want him doing it in Chicago eight games a year.