Allen had retired to pursue rap career
"Given the right set of circumstances, James will come back and play. And if they don't appear to be the right set of circumstances, apparently he won't,'' his agent, Steve Mandell, said Monday.
Mandell said Allen, who started five times last year for the Texans and split time with rookie Jonathan Wells in all 16 games, "decided he had a lot more football left in him'' in the days after telling coach Dom Capers his heart wasn't in football anymore.
The Texans appear set at running back with free-agent acquisition Stacey Mack starting and rookies Tony Hollings and Domanick Davis as backups. Davis will return kicks and possibly be a third-down back.
Wells, recovering from turf toe, also is expected to be a reserve back and special teams contributor.
Texans general manager Charley Casserly declined to discuss Allen's situation. Capers hinted that while he respected Allen's decision to leave the team, he isn't interested in welcoming him back.
"As you do in this business, you get to focusing all your attention on the people you have,'' Capers said.
The Texans placed Allen, 28, on the reserved-retired list, meaning the team still holds his rights. As of now, the Oklahoma product must repay the $200,000 signing bonus he received in May for agreeing to a one-year contract.
Allen, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 1998, started 31 games in four seasons with the Chicago Bears and one with Houston. He amassed 2,497 yards rushing, 964 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.
He was second on the Texans in rushing last season behind Wells with 519 yards.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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