Jacksonville Jaguars contract talks with star pass rusher already off to a bad start

• The Jaguars haven't begun contract negotiations with Josh Allen

• Allen and his reps pleased Trent Baalke said so publicly

Oct 4, 2023; Ware, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) participates in
Oct 4, 2023; Ware, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) participates in / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Outside linebacker Josh Allen is set to become a free agent in March. The Jacksonville Jaguars should be operating with a sense of urgency to ensure that he gets an extension as soon as possible. However, that's not the case, as they have yet to begin contract negotiations. While general manager Trent Baalke doesn't sound overly concerned, Allen and his representatives are not pleased. Not one bit.

Baalke told the local media in his end-of-the-season conference that Allen will remain with the team. When he asked how far conversations have gone, he said they haven't sat on the table yet. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Allen's camp caught wind of Baalke's remarks and they weren't thrilled.

A first-round pick in the 2019 draft, Allen says he most definitely wants to get an extension and he wants to get it from the Jaguars. He and his representatives are ready to engage in contract talks but Baalke hasn't been as proactive, something that has rubbed them the wrong way. According to Florio, Allen's camp wasn't enthused that "Baalke would take time to talk to the media" before taking time to talk to Allen or his agent about Allen.

Allen is coming off a year in which he broke Calais Campbell's franchise record for sacks in a season and set a new one with 17.5. Also, he, along with long-snapper Ross Matiscik became the first Jaguars player to earn a Pro Bowl designation since 2019. If that wasn't enough, the former Kentucky Wildcat also was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-AFC Team.

Simply put, Allen did what the team asked him to do: Show he was the game-changer they thought he was when they drafted him seventh overall in 20219. He did and then some. Now, it's time they hold their end of the bargain.

This doesn't paint a favorable picture of Jaguars GM Trent Baalke

The Jacksonville Jaguars have their work cut out for the offseason, and the last thing they can afford to do right now is fumble negotiations with Josh Allen and his representatives. So far, things aren't off to a great start. The organization has a policy of not engaging in contract talks during the season but they should've gotten to the negotiation table as soon as the offseason began, which was more than two weeks ago.

So far, there hasn't been movement on Trent Baalke's end, and that's concerning. Allen is no fringe starter or a special team contributor (there's nothing wrong with being either one), he's one of the top pass rushers in the league and the team's best defensive player. The Jags wanted him to play out his contract, and prove himself. He's earned a payday. They should treat him with respect, and prioritize giving him an extension.

Granted, negotiations can be tough but that's part of the business. The Jaguars haven't even started. How can you trust them to do a good job addressing their needs in the offseason when they can't even do something that should be as straightforward as rewarding one of their franchise building blocks?

Will it be expensive to sign Josh Allen? You bet, but that's the price of doing business in the NFL. They waited, and now they have to pay a premium. Had they taken care of it last year, they might've gotten Allen at a considerably lower rate, but because they waited and he had a monster season, they'll need to fork out more cash. Even then, they should gladly give him a top-market contract based on his impact both on and off the field.

Green Bay Packers edge rusher Rashan Gary signed a four-year deal worth $107 million last year. That should be the bottom line for whatever Josh Allen asks. The sooner the Jacksonville Jaguars embrace the idea that they have to pay him, the faster it will happen. Conversely, the more they resist, the uglier things will get.

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