Even though Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson excused most veteran players from mandatory workouts, outside linebacker Josh Allen showed up after missing the team's OTAs. Pederson says that he has been in touch with Allen and was looking forward to seeing him Monday.
Pederson met with the local media and said that veteran players would benefit from an extra three days off while young players could benefit from the extra work.
"I appreciate everybody that's here. We have 91 guys and the ones that have been here have been working their tails off, vets included", Pederson said. "It's a voluntary program, using my discretion, given some of these guys these three days where we can really focus on the young guys. Even some of the injured guys who can get another three days of treatment, rehab".
"Spending time with the young guys but the vets have been doing an outstanding job, they've been here they've been present. They've done everything that I've asked them to do and just felt it was beneficial for them to get the extra three days we're able to accomplish this year", Pederson said.
Regarding Allen's participation in training camp, Pederson says he's excited to spend the next couple of days with him, "I'd be good to get back in the classroom with coach Bill Shui and pick up the football terminology, just excited to watch him move around today", Pederson said. The Jaguars' head coach later clarified that there's no bad blood between Allen and the team.
"It's a mandatory three days. It's the only mandatory part of camp, I haven't seen him, so this is an opportunity to see him and really just embrace him and welcome him back. Listen, there's no bad blood or nothing like that. Guys are entitled to voluntary program, they can do what they want to do and it's good to get him back in this building and embrace him and get him back with his teammates this week", Pederson said.
A first-round pick in 2019, Allen got the fifth-year option in his rookie deal exercised and is set to make $10.9 million in 2023. He probably skipped OTAs because he's looking for a contract extension and since they're voluntary, he couldn't be fined. Here's the clip of Pederson's exchange with the media before the mandatory workouts.
The Jaguars have time to get an extension done with OLB Josh Allen
Although Allen has been away from the team, he's working out on his own and preparing for the 2023 season.
Josh Allen is one of the best players on the Jaguars' defense, so letting him go might not be in the team's best interest. Having said that, the team's brass and Allen have to find common ground. Even though the former Kentucky Wildcat did a great job of racking up pressures last year, he's not among the top edge rushers in the league. So it's possible that he and Jacksonville are looking to get a deal done that isn't lopsided.
Maybe Allen could use the deal Ed Oliver just got from the Buffalo Bills as a starting point in negotiations. Oliver was drafted two picks after Allen in 2019 and just recently agreed to a four-year contract worth $68 million. Despite the fact that Oliver has not been elite, the Bills recognize his value and are banking on his upside.
It's worth noting that Oliver plays defensive tackle while Allen is an outside linebacker. Moreover, Allen has outproduced Oliver but just like him, he still has room for improvement. Either way, Allen probably wants to get a deal that reflects his status as a key cog on the Jaguars' defense.
One benefit of Allen attending mandatory workouts is that he and the Jaguars are keeping lines of communication open. Since there's no rift, there's a better chance they will get an extension done this year.