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Asher Allen, oft-concussed Vikings CB, walks away from football

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At the age of 24, Asher Allen has played his last game of football. He's informed Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier that he's retiring.

Allen hasn't commented publicly, and Frazier didn't mention injuries as a reason for his retirement. Allen has suffered concussions in each of the last two years, however, so I do wonder. Here's Frazier on Allen's out-of-nowhere decision:

"He'll talk about it more at some point, but he explained to me that this was something he wanted to do. He had given it a lot of thought and that's what he wanted to do."

"I didn't see that coming," Frazier said. "But everybody has to make decisions that are the best for their family. … He came in my office last Thursday, talked about it and informed me of what he wanted to do."

Allen wasn't a starter at the beginning of the 2011 season, but injuries pushed him into that role. He played in 12 games and started nine of them. He wasn't a superstar, but did figure to be on the Vikings roster this season. He was a third-round draft choice in 2009.

Whether injuries were behind the decision or not, it's unusual to see such a young player walk away from the game. A guy getting pushed out is one thing, but Allen's career very likely could've been longer than three years if that was what he wanted.

As it turns out, that's not what he wanted. Whether he wants instead to preserve his health, spend more time with his family, do something else with his life, or just not play football, that's his call. It's nobody else's place to say that retiring his good, bad, right or wrong. The decision can only be described as his.

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Vikings GM Rick Spielman talked to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport about Allen's decision, and how it relates to the rest of the Vikings secondary.

"We signed some corners this year and felt we tried to upgrade and really focus on the back end of the defense with the drafting of the DBs that we did. Signing [Chris] Carr, who can play inside and outside with Antoine Winfield, with getting Chris Cook back, and how he's working. So, we were disappointed that (Allen) wanted to retire, but again, you don't want a player out there who doesn't want to play either." [...]

"You respect his wishes and wish him the best and we'll move on," he said.

So will he. To whatever he feels is best.

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