The best way to neutralize the impact of a quarterback in the NFL is with relentless pressure, which is why teams are willing to fork out top-market money for edge rushers. The Jacksonville Jaguars have a good one in outside linebacker Josh Allen, who would be in high demand if he were put on the trade block.
The Jags aren’t actively shopping Allen but they will probably listen to trade offers if other clubs inquired about his availability. Last year, the Kansas City Chiefs came in calling before the trade deadline and teams that want to bolster their pass rush will get in touch with general manager Trent Baalke this offseason.
The Seattle Seahawks had a stout defensive front last year but Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report thinks they could be even better if they acquired Allen. Ballentine brings up the Philadelphia Eagles as an example of how effective an effective rotation of pass rushers can be and believes Allen would make the Hawks’ defense “downright terrifying”.
"Much like the Eagles needed Haason Reddick to unlock the potential of the rest of their pass-rushers, the Seahawks could use one more pass-rusher to push the group into the elite category. Josh Allen could be that missing piece. He’s entering the final year of his contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He’s due $10.9 million. If the Jaguars aren’t interested in giving him a long-term deal, they might be willing to part with him for a first-round pick."
Ballentine suggests Seattle send a first-round selection in this year’s draft in exchange for Allen, who’s tallied 14.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, and 36 tackles for a loss over the last two years. His 76 total pressures in 2022 ranked fifth in the league and his Pro Football Focus overall grade of 84.7 was the highest of his career.
While Allen’s sack totals aren’t among the best in the NFL, he was one of the Jaguars’ most valuable defenders last year. He scooped a fumble and returned it for the touchdown that put Jacksonville on top of the Tennessee Titans in the 2022 season finale.
Jaguars OLB Josh Allen would make the Seahawks’ defense elite
The Seahawks wouldn’t probably mind parting ways with a first-round selection to land Allen. All things considered, it would be a relatively small price to pay to upgrade their pass rush, as he would join a group that already includes Uchenna Nwosu and Darrell Taylor, who registered a combined 19 sacks last season.
Conversely, the Jaguars would gladly take a first-round pick in exchange for Allen. The question is how much the team’s brass value the former Kentucky Wildcat, whose impact goes beyond the stat sheet. He’s been named team captain by his teammates for three straight years, so it’s clear they hold him in high regard.
Similarly, the Jags showed their trust in Allen when they picked up their fifth-year option last offseason. While that doesn’t directly lead to a multi-year contract, it’s a step in the right direction. Also, there’s no guarantee Jacksonville will draft Allen’s potential replacement or a playmaker at a different position with whatever pick they get in a trade, so unless he doesn’t figure in the team’s long-term future, it might not make much sense to part ways with him.
The Jaguars currently are more than $20 million over the cap and trading Allen would free up $10.892 million. But if they’re going to move on from him, it should be because he’s not part of their long-term plans, not because they’ll get cap relief. After all, the best teams find a way to keep their difference-makers and if they think highly of Allen, they will then attempt to sign him to a long-term deal.
In the end, it all comes down to how the Jaguars feel about Allen, who is entering a contract year. If he goes on to post career numbers, they’ll gladly write him a fat check next offseason. But if they think they’ve seen enough, they should then trade him now and get something in return.