According to an article published by the West Central Tribune, former Georgia Bulldog defensive back and part-time Minnesota Vikings starter, Asher Allen, has decided to hang up his football cleats for good.
…“I didn’t see that coming,” Frazier said after the team held an optional practice. “Everybody has to make decisions that they think are best for them.”
Allen was drafted out of Georgia in 2009. He started 11 games in 2010, but struggled last season as part of the Vikings’ banged-up secondary. He had four interceptions in his career.
Allen suffered at least two concussions in his three years in the NFL, including one last season. Concussions have become a front-burner issue in professional football in recent years, with hundreds of former players suing the league alleging it turned a blind eye to the long-term effects that head injuries can have.
According to Frazier, Allen did not say whether it was related to injuries. The Associated Press left a message for Allen and his agent seeking comment.
“He will talk about it more at some point,” Frazier said. “He explained to me that this is something that he wanted to do and he had given it a lot of thought and that is what he wanted to do.”
Allen wasn’t expected to compete for a starting position this season with the Vikings, but the physical cornerback was being counted on to play some in nickel and dime packages, especially early while rookie Josh Robinson got up to speed. (John Krawczynski, “NFL: Viking’s Allen abruptly retires”, wctrib.com, 6/1/12)
When Allen exited the Georgia Bulldogs team in 2010, many felt he was making a curious decision at that time as well because although he was one of the more experienced defensive backs on the team, it was debatable as to how well his abilities would translate at the next level—that said, he was selected in the third round and was expected, at least at that time, to have a legitimate shot at a starting position.
With all the recent tragedies surrounding pro players with multiple concussions dying or committing suicide—Junior Seau being the most recent to make headlines—is it possible that Allen wasn’t willing to take any more chances with his health and longevity?
As of now, his reasons remain unknown, but his age does leave the door open for a future return should he decide to do so in the near future.