As the 2023 season unfolds, the Jacksonville Jaguars face a pressing decision that could influence their future trajectory. Two of their prominent players, receiver Calvin Ridley and outside linebacker Josh Allen, are on the verge of entering the free agency market in 2024.
Their potential departure could leave a significant void in the team's offensive and defensive strategies. As a result, the Jaguars must plan their moves wisely to secure their core lineup while being mindful of their financial constraints.
The 2024 free agency market is becoming highly competitive, with several high-profile players across various teams set to hit the open market. Ridley and Allen could be the Jaguar's most talented players that become free agents next year.
Why it makes sense for the Jaguars to re-sign OLB Josh Allen
The NFL's demand for pass rushers and wide receivers remains high, and the 2024 free-agency market is no different. Several prominent pass rushers, including Brian Burns of the Carolina Panthers, are expected to be available. These players and Allen have the versatility to line up in either 3-4 or 4-3 schemes, making them valuable assets for any team.
Sweat's recent contract will hit the Bears against the cap at an average of nearly $25 million a year over the next four until 2027; Allen will probably be closer to a $27 million -28 million annual average. A Nick Bosa-like contract could work in Jacksonville, with $94 million of the $170 million he's owed being paid out in his final two years with a low dead cap hit.
Josh Allen has been the Jaguars' leading pass rusher for the past couple of seasons. The team had exercised the fifth-year option of his rookie contract last offseason, hinting at their intent to retain him. With a stellar performance in 2023, Allen could strengthen his case for a long-term commitment from the Jags.
Allen has been instrumental in the Jaguars' defense and a true J-Villian. As the team's best pass rusher, he can significantly influence the team's defensive strategy and performance. His strong performance in 2023 could solidify his position within the team and increase his chances of a long-term commitment from the Jaguars.
Heading into Week 10, Allen is tied for third sacks in the NFL in sacks (nines) and hurries (10). His 26 pressures are the second-most in the league and has a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 89.2. Just a reference, star legendary outside linebacker Khalil Mack has a PFF grade of 88.9.
My take is to sign him for five years, $135 million, $65 million guaranteed, team-friendly back-loaded contract, and honor him with the deserved captain patch.