Jim Mora: The Bills need to lock Josh Allen in sooner rather than later

The former NFL and college coach believes the fourth-year quarterback has all the intangibles.
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He answered all the questions (and then some) about his accuracy and ability to play against so many better athletes than he ever was exposed to in college at Wyoming.

He nearly was named the NFL MVP.

He commanded a juggernaut offense despite working with a new No. 1 receiver to a 13-3 regular-season record and 2-1 postseason record.

Now Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen needs to be paid, according to Jim Mora, the coach-turned-analyst.

"It's very important," Mora said in an exclusive interview with SI.com. "I think it's important for a couple of reasons."

Mora actually went on to name four.

"The longer it goes on, the more it becomes a distraction, not necessarily because Josh and the Bills have any kind of impasse, but because, you know, the media and the fans make it a distraction because it's all we want to talk about," he said.

"No. 2, I think it shows the commitment of Josh towards the organization and the organization towards towards Josh," Mora continued.

"No. 3, I think he's earned it. Maybe that's a premature statement. Maybe he needs to have another great year. But when you look at not only what he's done on the football field, but what he's done in that community and the way he's embraced that community and the communitie has embraced him and the things that he says and the way that he acts, I mean he's a guy that you want long term."

Finally, Mora believes Allen made the giant leap many coaches expect of first-round draft picks within their first three years.

"You know, there were questions about him coming out," Mora said. "You know, accuracy. He played at Wyoming, the competition. I think he's answered all those questions and I think he's demonstrated great attitude, great character, great work ethic and tremendous competitiveness.

"And he's just getting better ... so the sooner you can lock him up, the better for everybody."

Bills general manager Brandon Beane has repeatedly stated that he'll give the issue more attention after the NFL Draft from April 29-May1.

The negotiations will be complicated because the end result will be Allen coming away with the richest contract in team history at a time when the spectacular failures of first-round quarterbacks around the league have come to the forefront.

In the eight-year period from 2009 through 2016, none of the 22 quarterbacks drafted in the first round are with their original teams heading into 2021.

What's more, Mitchell Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick by the Chicago Bears in 2017, has landed with the Bills as a backup to Allen.

However it plays out, Mora believes Beane has them pointed in the right direction for the long term as well as the short term.

"They're not poised for just immediate success," Mora said. "They're poised for long-term success because they're thinking it through and they're doing it right. Not everybody does that. A lot of teams, it's just snap reaction. Not Buffalo. They're building something special."

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro.