Former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has been signed to the Chicago Bears for a four-year, $32 million deal.

Jared Allen Heads To Chicago

The five-time Pro Bowl player will be taking the place of veteran pass rusher Julius Peppers, who was a part of the Chicago defense last year that allowed a franchise-worst 478 points, according to ESPN. While Allen, also a veteran, may not technically be a better player than Peppers, it’s his personality and energy that the Bears are banking on to lead their defense in the 2014 season.

Allen’s deal with the Bears guarantees him $15.5 million over the next two seasons, reported the Chicago Tribune. General mangaer Phil Emery, in another big move for the team’s defense, signed edge rusher Lamarr Houston to a $35 million, five-year contract. With Allen on the roster, Houston will likely slide over to the left end, where he’s believed to be more effective.

If Allen hadn’t gone to Chicago, there’s a good chance he would have ended up in Seattle. The Seahawks were courting the 32-year-old defensive end, but were reportedly only looking to offer about $5.5 million a season.

Allen’s biggest strength – and the biggest coup for Chicago – is his consistency. He started all 96 regular-season games for the Vikings in his last six seasons with the Minnesota squad, picking up 85 sacks. In the last seven seasons, Allen hasn’t finished a season without racking up at least 11 sacks.

Peppers, meanwhile, has signed with Bears’ rivals, the Green Bay Packers. It’s expected that he’ll play a versatile role within the Packer defense and spend some time in the linebacker position.

– Chelsea Regan