Jaguars OLB Josh Allen skipping OTAs not cause for concern

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) takes off his gloves to give to fans after the game.
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) takes off his gloves to give to fans after the game. / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

Outside linebacker Josh Allen, tight end Evan Engram and left tackle Robinson made headlines when they skipped the Jacksonville Jaguars' first Organized Team Activity (OTA) of the year. Although Robinson has shown up to later practices, Allen and Engram remain absent. This has led to speculation about their respective status for the 2023 season but the truth is that there's no reason to hit the panic button.

Engram most recently made an appearance on the 2nd Wind Podcast but has been training on his own. On the other hand, Allen has stayed away from the public. Engram got the franchise tag in March while Allen is entering the fifth year of his rookie deal. It's possible that both players have decided not to attend OTAs while they keep negotiating a potential long-term deal.

In his first season with the Jags, Engram set career bests for catches and receiving yards. He also broke several team records and would have been a hot commodity in free agency if he had hit the open market but he's set to remain in Jacksonville for at least one more year after getting tagged.

Meanwhile, Allen has developed into one of the Jaguars' best defensive players and a locker room leader. He finished the year with just 7.5 sacks but excelled at creating pressure up front. Even though he's not among the top edge rushers in the league, he's become an integral part of Jacksonville's defensive puzzle and probably wants a contract that reflects his value to the team. Here's Demetrius Harvey of The Florida Times-Union sharing his thoughts on the situation.

The Jaguars have time to strike a long-term deal with OLB Josh Allen

Engram ranked fourth in the league in both catches (73) and receiving yards (766) among tight ends, so he shouldn't be blamed for trying to maximize his value and aiming for a contract that makes him one of the top 5 highest-paid players at the position (if that's what he wants). Having said that, the Jaguars will need to make a handful of tough financial decisions next year and might prioritize locking up other players, including Allen.

After all, Allen is one of the few remaining players from previous regimes still on the team and one of their top defenders regardless of the position. Giving him a long-term deal would send the message that the organization will take care of their own. While it would be great to see him partake in OTAs and develop a better rapport with his teammates, this is the voluntary portion of offseason practices, so his absence shouldn't be a cause for concern.

Allen is simply making a business decision and there's a good chance he'll show up for training camp, even if he hasn't struck a multi-year extension. He knows he's not required to attend and maybe he's using his time to sort things out and/or work on non-football stuff.

Allen has the right to skip OTAs, regardless of the reason. If he's still a no-show in training camp, getting fidgety will then become a reasonable reaction. For the time being, the Jacksonville Jaguars aren't too worried about him missing voluntary practice.

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