Outside linebacker Josh Allen is entering a contract year and the Jacksonville Jaguars could trade him if he isn’t part of their long-term plans. Although the Jags aren’t actively shopping Allen, the Kansas City showed interest in him before last year’s trade deadline and teams in need of pass rush help will probably inquire about his availability this offseason.
Allen, a first-round pick in 2019, registered 10.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. However, a knee injury hindered his production and limited him to eight games in 2020. The former Kentucky Wildcat has bounced back since then, registering 14.5 sacks, 127 total pressures, and five forced fumbles over the last two seasons.
Even though Allen isn’t an elite pass rusher, he could help several clubs (including the Jags) and his manageable cap hit of $10.82 million could make him an appealing trade target. While he’s one year away from becoming a free agent, Jacksonville could trade him to any of these three teams and get something in exchange — a second-round pick, maybe even a first — if they don’t plan to re-sign him.
3. Trade partner for Jacksonville Jaguars OLB Josh Allen: Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals just hired former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Johnathan Gannon as their head coach. Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort have their work cut out and one of the top items on their to-do list is upgrading the pass rush.
J.J. Watt had 12.5 of Arizona’s 36 sacks in 2022 and unless something unexpected happens, he will retire. Moreover, defensive tackle Zach Allen, whose 5.5 sacks ranked second on the Cards last season, is slated to become a free agent.
Even if Watt returned in 2023, Arizona would need another pass rusher. Without him, it becomes a priority the team must address this offseason. Josh Allen would give the Cardinals’ defense a boost right off the bat and allow them to address other position needs, such as wide receiver and the offensive line.