Well, at least the Washington Football Team's defense will be sticking together long-term, right?
The WFT and defensive tackle Jonathan Allen have agreed to a four-year, $72 million contract extension with a $30 million signing bonus. This means he'll make an average salary of $18 million starting next season, and that his rights will remain under the team's control through 2025.
A first-round pick out of Alabama in 2017, Allen has recorded 202 tackles, 17 sacks and 45 QB hits through his first four seasons with Washington. He's also been one of the more consistent players health-wise, starting all but one game over the last three seasons.
This is a sound deal not only for Washington's defense, but also for its cap space. An average salary of $18 million for a player of Allen's potential is likely a steal down the line should he production remain the same.
Every year, Allen has improved as a pass-rusher. Last season, he recorded just two sacks, but his pressures and QB hits continued to be impactful.
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He's also been one of the top run defenders in the league since 2019. Last season, Pro Football Focus graded him out with an 80.3 in run defense.
The move now will keep the core four together for at least one more season in D.C. Fellow first-round Daron Payne enters the final year of his rookie deal in 2022. Montez Sweat, the team leader in sacks, enters his last year in 2023.
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Ultimately, this creates a building block for coordinator Jack Del Rio's defense for years to come. Chase Young is only entering his second season. Jamin Davis is expected to be a do-it-all linebacker. Names like William Jackson III and Kendall Fuller won't hit free agency until 2024.
Washington might also be looking to secure a long-term deal with Brandon Scherff entering next offseason, though that might be unlikely. WFT hasn't been able to come to terms in the two years he's sat on the franchise tag.
But as part of the front-office roster-building, Allen's contract alone bodes well for both the short- and long-term plan in Washington. Both sides should be walking away feeling better about their status entering training camp.
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