Jaguars rumors: Trading OLB Josh Allen would send wrong message

The Nov. 1 trade deadline is inching closer and the Jacksonville Jaguars could be sellers. Specifically, there are reports other clubs have been inquiring about outside linebacker Josh Allen and head coach Doug Pederson didn’t do much to shut down rumors when he met with the local media Monday.

John Shipley of Sports Illustrated reports “Pederson says he won’t get into specifics of the roster when asked about Josh Allen trade rumors”. Maybe this writer is reading too much into Pederson’s comments but they don’t do anything to dispel the notion the Jags are shopping Allen or listening to offers.

Outside of cornerback Tyson Campbell, there might not be a more valuable player on the Jaguars’ defense than Josh Allen. A first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the former Kentucky Wildcat recorded 10.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. The following season, a knee injury held him back and limited him to 2.5 sacks and just eight games. He kind of bounced back in 2021, logging 7.5 sacks but he also disappeared for stretches.

This season, Allen has three sacks, tied with defensive end Dawuane Smoot for the most on the team. He’s also forced two fumbles but it feels as if he’s not making enough big plays, which is what elite defenders do and also a reason why the Jaguars might be considering moving on from him. In fact, Justin Melo of The Draft Network has identified three potential landing spots for him, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Miami Dolphins, and the New York Jets.

Update, per insider Jordan Schultz, the Jaguars “have received huge interest in OLB Josh Allen from around the league, but the preference remains to keep him”.

The Jaguars would be making a mistake if they trade Josh Allen

Allen should have better numbers this season. You could make the case that he’s been double-teamed but the truth is that top pass rushers excel even when opposing offenses devote extra attention to them. By Year 4, players should have figured things out in NFL and there’s a chance Allen has already reached his ceiling. Conversely, every player is different and it may be a matter of time before breaks out.

Either way, the Jags would make a mistake if they traded him. For starters, it would be sending a terrible message to the locker room, that the team is waiving the white flag and already planning for next year. Why would you move on from a core player and team captain if you expect to turn the corner? Also, the Virginia native is the best edge rusher on the team and the front seven could experience a dropoff without him.

Moreover, the Jags picked up Allen’s fifth-year option on his rookie deal, so he’s under contract until the end of 2023, which is more than enough time to find out what kind of contract extension he deserves. Per Over The Cap, he’s set to count $10.89 million against the cap next year, which isn’t a bargain but isn’t cost-prohibitive either.

The Jaguars find themselves at a crossroads following their loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 8. While time is running out, they could still turn things around, which could be more challenging without Josh Allen on the roster.