Chiefs DE Allen signs one-year qualifying offer, to report for OTAs

Three-year veteran defensive end Jared Allen, the Kansas City Chiefs' outstanding young pass rusher who last month was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the 2007 season, signed the one-year qualifying offer for a restricted free agent on Monday.

He will report to the club Tuesday for the start of organized team activities (OTAs) sessions.

In an interview with the Kansas City Star over the weekend, Allen made it clear that his decision to report for the workouts, even though he did not receive a long-term contract offer he considered commensurate to his performance in his first three NFL seasons, was because of his loyalty to coach Herm Edwards, his teammates and the Kansas City fans.

"That's the reason I'm back," said Allen, who remains upset at Kansas City management. "I told coach Edwards, 'Let's not get this mistaken. I'm back for my teammates and for you.' There is no other reason."

Allen, 25, was suspended in April for repeat violations of the league's substance abuse policy after twice being charged with DUI last year. He has demonstrated much remorse over the incidents and has become very involved in several local charities, most notably working with a group that raises funds to combat juvenile diabetes.

The former Idaho State star pleaded no contest to the most recent charges in September and entered a diversion program to resolve the first DUI incident from May 2006.

The one-year qualifying offer signed Monday, tendered to Allen in February to essentially ward off any teams that might have considered signing him to a restricted free agent offer sheet, is worth $2.35 million. Allen will forfeit $552,941 of that because of the suspension.

Kansas City used the highest-level tender on Allen, one that would have cost another team that successfully signed him to an offer sheet first- and third-round choices in the '07 draft as compensation. That steep price tag kept suitors at bay.

Barring an extension, or the Chiefs using a franchise designation to retain him, Allen will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next spring. And given his prowess as a pass rusher, he figures to command plenty of attention if he goes into the unrestricted market.

A fourth-round choice in the 2004 draft, Allen has developed into one of the league's top young sack threats. He has 165 tackles, 27½ sacks, 10 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, one interception and 15 passes defensed in 47 appearances and 41 starts. Allen has an explosive first step and combines with that a relentless drive to get to the quarterback.

Allen indicated in February, with contract discussions stalled, that he wanted to be traded. It is believed the Chiefs made him a multi-year offer but with significantly less in guarantees than other defensive ends, some of them with statistics inferior to his, have received lately. Allen said in February that he was "shocked and hurt" by the lack of progress toward a long-term deal.

While a trade is now unlikely, Allen is anticipating that this to be his final season in Kansas City, and he recently sold his home there. He will live with a friend during the season.

Because of the suspension, and despite the positive steps Allen has made since the second DUI, the Chiefs might be reluctant now to even consider a long-term deal for their young star. Team president Carl Peterson said in February that the DUI charges played a role in the Chiefs' negotiating stance with their standout defensive end.

Peterson emphasized at the time that he wanted Allen on the team, calling him "a very good football player," but also termed him "a young man at risk."

For his part, Allen appears more than ready to move on after this season, no matter how strongly he feels about Edwards.

"There are some things that would have to change seriously if I was going to sign a [long-term] contract," he told the Star. "It's a shame. I love the community. … [But] I'll play this year out and see where it ends up."

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.