EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –Defensive end Jared Allen may not be finishing his career as a Viking, but he'll certainly always be remembered as one.
"I want to sincerely thank all the Vikings fans and everyone who helped make my six years in Minnesota so special," Allen said. "I loved being a Minnesota Viking, and I will cherish those memories forever."
After Allen creatively announced his retirement via Twitter Thursday morning, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said the following during a session with reporters:
"I just wanted to congratulate Jared Allen on his retirement. He is a very unique individual, [and we were] very fortunate to have him as a part of the Minnesota Vikings while I was here. He was a great player for us, [he] will always be a Minnesota Viking, and I think he's one of the best players that ever played here with the Vikings."
"I'm excited for his retirement – so we don't have to play him," Spielman added, chuckling. "But he was a great influence and a great player for us during his tenure here."
The 2008 trade with Kansas City that brought Allen to Minnesota in exchange for a first-round draft pick and two third-round picks was one of the first blockbuster trades Spielman helped facilitate after joining the Vikings as Vice President of Player Personnel in 2006.
The reaction to Allen's announcement after a successful 12-year career has been widespread, and many – including media members, former teammates and current players – took to social media to express their respect and comment on Allen's fitting, cowboy-style delivery.
Here is just a handful of the Twitter reactions and send-offs: