Keenan Allen's heartfelt goodbye to Chargers fans makes trade sting even more

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Chargers
Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Chargers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The Jim Harbaugh era got off to a contentious start when the LA Chargers traded away star wide receiver Keenan Allen. The move blindsided fans, most of whom expected the Chargers to part with one of Joey Bosa or Khalil Mack as they trimmed the roster to get cap compliant before the new league year.

Some draconian moves were to be expected given the Chargers' heinous cap situation, but trading away the franchise's long-tenured player and best player of the last decade? That's illogical. There's nothing wrong with wanting to get younger, but Allen and Justin Herbert had elite chemistry.

It'd be one thing if the Chargers got great value for Allen. Entering his age-32 season, fresh off missing four games with a hamstring injury and having not played a full season since 2021, it's no surprise they only got a fourth-round pick in return for the six-time Pro Bowler.

Allen will now look to build chemistry with No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams in Chicago. Before he embarked on his first OTA practices with the Bears, though, Allen took time to pen a farewell letter to Chargers fans and the city of Los Angeles.

Keenan Allen pens farewell to Chargers fans after surprise trade to Bears

"To all my Charger fans! I love you all unconditionally," Allen wrote in an Instagram post. "San Diego you guys took me in with no questions asked. There's no limit to the love I have for the city. The best city I've ever been in!"

"L.A. We had a blast! I understood the task we were up against and we came up short. But that doesn't take away from the love that we received night in and night out. California will always be my home and always be my favorite place in the world. I can't imagine living in a different city."

Allen's goodbye might have taken longer than Chargers fans expected, but he apologized for the delay in the caption. As he showed throughout his 11-year run with the team, Allen is a class act through and through.

A third-round pick in 2013, Allen is the second-leading receiver in Chargers' history. Only the legendary Antonio Gates has more catches, receiving yards and touchdowns in a Bolts uniform. What makes the trade even more difficult to reckon with is that Allen was on pace to surpass Gates in catches and yards. He leaves 51 receptions shy of Gates' 955 and 1,311 yards shy of Gates' 11,841 yards. It stands to reason that Allen would have leapt Gates in both categories in 2024 if he played a full season.

The Chargers and Bears unfortunately don't play this season so fans will have to wait at least a full calendar year for an Allen reunion unless the teams meet in the Super Bowl. Until then, the Chargers faithful will be rooting for No. 13 from afar in the Windy City.

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