Chargers clearly disrespected Keenan Allen with reported extension offer

Los Angeles Chargers v Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Chargers v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The LA Chargers made arguably the most shocking move of the entire offseason, trading fan-favorite wide receiver Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round pick. The new Chargers' regime was forced to cut costs for the upcoming season and trading Allen was a big part of that process.

After releasing Mike Williams and restructuring both Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, many Chargers fans assumed that the team would extend Allen to reduce his cap hit and keep him in LA in the process. At first, it was reported that the Chargers simply asked Allen to take a pay cut with GM Joe Hortiz later undermining that report by saying that the team offered Allen an extension.

Both sides of the story appear to have validity to them. ESPN's Kris Rhim recently broke down the Allen trade saga with new facts and details, confirming that the Bolts did ask Allen to take a pay cut but also offered him a two-year extension. The "pay cut" that is being alluded to was likely converting some of Allen's base salary in 2024 to future bonus money paid out over the course of the new extension.

This is a standard practice in extensions and was the entire basis of getting an extension done as it would have saved cap space. But alas, Allen's camp seemed to be disrespected by the Chargers' offer, as the numbers between the two sides could not have been any further apart.

Keenan Allen was clearly disrespected by Chargers' extension offer

There is a big gap between the $18 million per year that the Chargers offered and the likely number that Allen's camp asked for in return. Knowing that Allen wanted top-line money, it is safe to assume that he wanted a deal similar or more than what Mike Evans got from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Evans signed a two-year, $52 million new contract with the Bucs this offseason. This is the fourth-highest average annual salary in the league. The floor for Allen was probably $25 million, but it would not be surprising if he was trying to get close to the top AAV of $30 million.

Either way, it is safe to assume that Allen and his camp were asking for at least a three-year, $75 million extension. That is a big jump from being two years for $36 million. The two sides were not even in the same ballpark, so it is easy to see why the Chargers just had to move on.

As painful as it was to trade Allen, the Chargers are in the right here. Prior to the trade, we here at Bolt Beat theorized that Allen would get an extension slightly above what DeAndre Hopkins got from the Tennessee Titans last offseason. A fair price for Allen was two years for $30 million considering his age and injury history.

Two years for $36 million was more than fair, with $40 million being a fair ceiling for the Bolts (and one they probably would have accepted if that was the counter). It was simply too risky to pay Allen top-tier money well into his 30s regardless of how great he was last season.