The former Viking retires as the NFL's sack leader with 136 of them in his 12 seasons. The defensive end thanked all four organizations he played for, including the Bears and Chiefs.
Allen missed most of the postseason after suffering a broken right foot in the divisional round against the Seahawks. He would go on to play with that same injury in Super Bowl 50 against the Broncos.
Allen, who was acquired by the Panthers after the third game of the 2015 season, was going to be owed $8.5 million next season. He had 12 sacks during the regular season for Carolina.
His best season came in 2011 while in Minnesota, where he led the league with 22 sacks. Allen would go on to record 11 or more sacks in eight of his 12 seasons.
On Friday afternoon, it was another player to call it quits, this one on the offensive side of the ball. The Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Friday afternoon that tight end Heath Miller is retiring after 11 seasons.
The 33-year-old recorded 592 receptions, 6,569 yards, and 45 touchdown receptions, all of which are franchise highs for tight ends. He is one of four Steelers to catch 500 passes, and since being drafted in the first round of the 2005 draft, ranks in the top four among tight ends in catches and yardage.
His best season came in 2012 , where he caught 71 passes and a career-high 816 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He ended his career by recording 60 catches, 535 yards, and two touchdowns in 2015.
Miller and Allen's decision now make it six players to call it a career in 2016, and that number could increase as we await the decision from the Lions' Calvin Johnson.