4 difficult decisions the Jacksonville Jaguars will need to make in the offseason

• The Jaguars are in full offseson mode. While free agency is a couple months away, they need to start planning for the future.

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) receives a pass to bring in a touchdown past
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) receives a pass to bring in a touchdown past / Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA
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1. Giving Josh Allen a multi-year extension

Outside linebacker Josh Allen had a good rookie season, posting 10.5 sacks and making the Pro Bowl. However, he saw a dip in production the next three years. Whether he was held back by injuries, Urban Meyer, or any other reasons, he wasn't nearly as dominant in that stretch as he was expected. While the team's brass didn't mind picking up his fifth-year option in 2022, they were hesitant to give him an extension, so they let his contract play out last season. The decision paid off.

Allen went on to have a career year in 2023, registering 17.5 sacks, one interception, and two forced fumbles. On top of that, he and long-snapper Ross Matiscik became the first two Jaguars to make the Pro Bowl not as alternates since 2019, Allen's rookie season. Throughout the season, he was the team's best defensive player, wreaking havoc at the line of scrimmage.

Even though Allen didn't earn enough consideration for All-Pro honors, he solidified his place as the Jaguars' most valuable defensive player. Giving up a top-market extension should be a no-brainer but nothing is guaranteed. The former Kentucky Wildcat, his representatives, and general manager Trent Baalke will be exchanging offers in the upcoming months. In an ideal world, both parties should strike a deal before free agency. However, things could get ugly in the blink of an eye.

If the Jaguars lowball Allen, that could be a huge turnoff. On the other hand, it's uncertain what his demands will be and if they are unrealistic, the team may not be willing to cave in. If talks aren't fruitful, Baalke will then need to use the franchise tag, which would rub the Virginia native the wrong way.

Rashad Gary and Montez Sweat got deals during the regular season that pay them each more than $20 million on average per year. That could be the baseline for negotiations between Allen and the team. It wouldn't be shocking to see him demand something in the range of $25 million annually. And if the Jaguars don't get a deal done early soon, this could become a long offseason.

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