Former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has announced his retirement after 12 seasons in the NFL.

Allen, 33, made the announcement Thursday morning in a video on his Twitter page declaring he was "riding off into the sunset."

A fourth round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft out of Idaho State, Allen was selected to be a longsnapper for the Kansas City Chiefs, but his pass rushing abilities got him into the starting lineup and he finished his rookie season with nine sacks.

Allen struggled during his time in Kansas City with alcohol problems and he was traded to the Vikings before the 2008 season for 1st and 3rd round draft picks.

While in purple Allen became an immediate fan favorite, posting double-digit sacks in each of his six seasons in Minnesota. Allen also quit drinking and established Homes for Wounded Warriors, a charity that builds houses for injured soldiers returning from overseas.

A five-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All Pro, Allen had his best season in one of the Vikings' worst -- as he recorded 22 sacks (1/2 shy of the NFL single season record) in 2011, when Minnesota went 3-13.

For his career, Allen recorded 136 sacks (85.5 with the Vikings) -- tied for ninth in NFL history. In 12 seasons, Allen played for the Chiefs, Vikings, Chicago Bears, and the Carolina Panthers.