If you haven’t seen the news already, then I’ll gladly pass along the information.
According to NFL.com, the Chargers and wide receiver Keenan Allen are reportedly discussing a long-term deal. Allen will be a free agent after the 2016 season.
This is good news for a Charger team that already let a star receiver in Vincent Jackson walk away in free agency in 2012.
Allen, 24, is the team’s No. 1 option at receiver. Quarterback Philip Rivers can make any receiver look good, but Allen is not just any receiver. He’s an elite route runner who has the tools to become one of the best receivers in the league, just as long as he can stay healthy.
While he has 215 receptions for 2,554 yards and 16 touchdowns over three years, he’s missed 11 games during the span. He was on an incredible pace last season until he lacerated his kidney in Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens, in which he ultimately missed the remainder of the season.
That said, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of contract Allen will demand. I’ve mentioned this once before, but three high-end receivers got paid in 2015: Bengals’ A.J. Green, Falcons’ Julio Jones and Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas. All three are averaging at least $14 million per year with at least $32 million guaranteed.
Don’t expect that kind of contract for Allen. He could wind up being a top-five receiver, but he’s not at that level yet. A contract like Jackson’s (five-year, $55.5 million) seems reasonable. Jackson earned $26 million in guarantees, but if the Chargers can give Allen between $15-24 million in guaranteed money, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Don’t forget, if outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, who’s also a free agent after this season, has a career-year, look for the Chargers to dish out money towards him, too.
Hopefully the Chargers lock Allen up sooner rather than later.