The Jacksonville Jaguars expected outside linebacker Josh Alllen to have a breakout season in 2023 and he hasn't disappointed. He's among the best pass rushers in the NFL right now and is close to setting new career highs for sacks.
Allen is set to become a free agent next year but it's hard to see him leave Jacskonville. In fact, re-signing him is one of the team's priorities heading into the offseason. There's just one thing, the longer the Jags wait, the more they'll need to fork out for their star defender.
Fellow pass rusher Rashan Gary signed a four-year, $107 million deal last month. And just recently Montez Sweat is signing a "massive four-year extension worth $98 million" after landing with the Chicago Bears at the trade deadline, per multiple reports.
Not long after the Washington Commanders traded Montez Sweat to Chicago, he said he would consider all his options before signing a long-term deal. However, it looks like the Bears made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
While it's hard to tell from an outside perspective when the Jaguars and Josh Allen will engage in contract negotiations, he's surely thrilled to see other pass rushers push the bar higher. Before the start of the season, it seemed like he might get a deal that paid him an average of $16 million/$17 million per season but that figure now looks highly conservative based on his production this season.
In eight games, Allen ranks second in the league with nine sacks while his 39 pressures are tied for sixth. Moreover, he accounts for 56 percent of the Jaguars' total sacks this season. He only needs two more to set a new career best. Without a doubt, he deserves to be paid.
The Jacksonville Jaguars must give Josh Allen a new contract ASAP
You could make the case that Josh Allen should take a hometown discount but the truth is that players have a limited window to maximize his earnings. If he hits the open market, he'll be on demand and other teams won't hesitate to pay a premium for him. That's why the Jacskonville Jaguars cannot afford to lowball him.
As a matter of fact, they need to give him a contract that reflects his status as a building block and a leader, even if he doesn't wear the "C" on his jersey. He's one of few players the previous regime brought in that remain on the roster. Not only that, he's the kind playmaker that can take over games, having previously shown flashes of that dominance. His peformance against the Buffalo Bills in 2021 comes to mind. However, those flashes were far and few between. The talent was there but Allen was missing consistancy.
This season though, the former Kentucky Wildcat is wreaking havoc on a weekly basis. His status as one of the top pass rushers in the league is no longer in question. It's now time the Jags pay him accordingly.
Back in the offseason, Josh Allen said that he felt he wasn't good enough last year and vowed to live better. So far, he's honored his promise. It's time he gets rewarded.