With a few of the signings they made this off-season and a couple of big names returning, the Minnesota Vikings figured to have a bit of a competition at the cornerback spot going into the 2012 season. While it appears that the returning Antoine Winfield and Chris Cook will be the starters, all of the spots behind them on the depth chart appear to be wide open.
Asher Allen figured to be a part of that logjam. . .until he announced his retirement on Wednesday afternoon.
Allen, the Vikings' third-round pick (number 86 overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia, had a very up-and-down three seasons in Minnesota. He had times where he showed flashes of brilliance, and many other times when he looked overmatched. He suffered a few concussions during his time with the Vikings as well, though it is not known whether or not that played a role in his decision to stop playing football.
According to KFAN-FM in Minneapolis, Allen had actually told Leslie Frazier that he wanted to retire last Thursday, but the word didn't make its way out until today. Also, KFAN says that the retirement is apparently not concussion-related, though I'm not sure how they know for sure, either.
Allen leaves Minnesota having appeared in 37 games for the Vikings, with 21 starts. He recorded 102 tackles and four interceptions in his three-year career, and walks away from the game at the age of 24.
We wish Asher Allen the best of luck in his future endeavors.