Josh Allen sends clear message to Jaguars GM Trent Baalke

• Jaguars OLB Josh Allen deserves a new contract. He took to social media to let GM Trent Baalke know.

Aug 27, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) warms up before
Aug 27, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) warms up before / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars applied the franchise tag on outside linebacker Josh Allen before the start of free agency. The tag is supposed to be a placeholder while the team and Allen's camp engage in contract talks. However, negotiations may not be going well based on a recent post on social media.

Allen took to Twitter to say that battles are won and lost in the trenches. He then added the hashtag, #checkthetape. This might be a direct message to general manager Trent Baalke, who has mismanaged his contract extension.

A first-round pick in 2019, Allen logged 10.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. However, he wasn't nearly as successful from 2020-2022, tallying just 17.5 in that span. The team's brass exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie deal but wanted to see him play his contract out before giving him a deal.

Allen went on to have a banner year, setting a new team record for sacks in a season with 17.5. Moreover, he earned his Pro Bowl designation. Rightfully, he wanted Baalke and the front office to live up to their end of the bargain but they hadn't begun contract talks by late January, something Allen's representatives weren't thrilled about.

Days before free agency, the Jaguars tagged Allen, ensuring that he remains in Jacksonville in 2024. He'll have a guaranteed salary of $24 million next season, but like any other player, he would like the security that comes with a long-term deal. It was reported at the time that the Jags had made progress in contract talks. However, Allen's post might be a sign that negotiations have stalled.

Jaguars OLB Josh Allen's frustration is understandable

The Jaguars endured a similar situation with tight end Evan Engram last offseason. Engram signed a one-year deal with the Jaguars in 2022 and went on to set new career-best in catches and receiving yards in a season. Like Allen, Engram got the franchise tag but eventually agreed to a three-year deal worth $43.5 million.

It's easy to understand Allen's frustration once you put yourself in his shoes. He did want what the team asked him to do, and he now wants a contract that reflects his status as one of the best edge rushers in the league. He's earned it. On the other hand, Trent Baalke is responsible for managing the cap, and cannot just hand out contracts without thinking of the future ramifications.

Granted, it shouldn't take this long to get a deal done, and Baalke should've operated with a higher sense of urgency once the 2023 season ended. The silver lining is that if both parties are operating in good faith, it will be a matter of time before they strike a multi-year extension.

Josh Allen has been an important piece of the Jaguars' defensive puzzle the past few years, even if his sack totals haven't always reflected it. He showed last season how important he is for their success, so it's time the Jaguars reward him. Hopefully, BroDawg took notice of Allen's post.

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