Ask almost any NFL veteran how excited they are about heading into training camp, and they'll almost unanimously tell you, "Not at all." That's why it's no surprise that Jared Allen apparently hates the idea of getting ready for camp too.
"Unfortunately, yes," Allen said on NFL AM when he was asked if his surgically repaired shoulder would be ready for training camp. "I was hoping to get a couple weeks of training camp off. But training sounds pretty good and I’m ready to rock and roll."
There was concern that Allen might not be ready for camp, but from his comments, it seems all but certain that he'll be good to go, even if it sounds like he'd rather see his shoulder slow down the recovery process.
Allen, now 31 years old, is entering his tenth season in the NFL, his sixth with the Vikings, and this year doubles as a contract year. He's getting to the age where teams like to dump expensive players, making this season that much more important for Allen.
"I’m just focusing on my shoulder right now," Allen said when asked about contract talks. "I’m in kind of a blessed place where both sides are honoring the contract that we signed."
If Allen shows he can still play at a high level, the Vikings will almost certainly engage in meaningful talks to keep him in Minnesota with a long-term deal, or at least an extension for a few years. If, however, his stats, especially sacks, decline, you can bet the Vikings will let his contract run out. Allen showing up to camp healthy and ready can't hurt his odds of being re-signed either.