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Panthers were clear No. 1 choice for DE Jared Allen

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How can Jared Allen help the Panthers? (1:01)

Louis Riddick breaks down the Panthers' decision to trade for Jared Allen. (1:01)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carolina Panthers were “by far No. 1" on Jared Allen’s list of prospective teams when he received permission from the Chicago Bears to look for a new home.

Allen’s agent, Ken Harris, told ESPN.com that the Panthers were one of five teams the 33-year-old sack specialist considered.

The Panthers fit all of Allen’s criteria in that they run a 4-3 defensive scheme and they are a contender at 3-0 record.

The Bears (0-3) switched to 3-4 scheme this season under new coach John Fox and asked Allen to move to a standup end for the first time in his career. He had no sacks and five tackles while playing 57 percent of the snaps in the first three games.

The Panthers also, Harris said, fit Allen’s personality in that he’s a “big country boy." Need evidence? Allen proposed to his wife in a truck before leaving on a hunting trip.

Charlotte’s not in the sticks, but it’s a lot closer to them than Chicago.

Allen fit the criteria the Panthers were looking for in that they needed help with the pass rush after collecting only two sacks in the last two games, none from an end.

Nobody has stepped up to replace right end Greg Hardy, who had 15 sacks in 2013 before missing all but one game last season while dealing with his domestic violence issue.

No active player has more sacks than Allen’s 134.

The Panthers needed an end period after Tuesday’s announcement that Charles Johnson was being placed on injured reserve with a designation to return. The team’s second all-time sack leader will miss at least eight games.

Allen also brings a veteran’s presence to the end position with Johnson out. Kony Ealy, Mario Addison and Wes Horton have been in the league five years or less, and none as a full-time starter.

Coach Ron Rivera hasn’t spoken on whether Allen will replace Johnson on the left side for Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay or remain on the right side where he has played most of his career.

Harris is confident his client can do either, noting Allen typically is “the smartest guy on the field at any time in the game, maybe with the exception of the quarterback."

Harris said Carolina may be the exception to that with middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, a two-time Pro Bowler who has missed the past two and a half games with a concussion.

Kuechly was scheduled to meet with an independent physician on Tuesday with the hope he’ll be cleared to return for Wednesday’s practice.

Harris said Allen’s deal came together quickly after his client sat down with Chicago general manager Ryan Pace and expressed interest in returning to a 4-3.

“The first thing out of his mouth was, ‘We don’t actually want to lose him, but he’s earned his way in this league, so he deserves the chance to be back in a 4-3. That’s what he signed up for,’ " Harris said of his conversation with Ryan.

“It was arguably the most impressive thing I’ve experienced with any GM."

Soon after the Panthers shot to No. 1 on Allen’s list.