Bills shouldn’t wait to extend Josh Allen

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When it comes to paying a quarterback after the window opens for his second contract, we’ve developed a very careful, specific, and detailed litmus test. If you think he’s your guy for the indefinite future, you pay him ASAFP.

It’s that simple, and only the team that has employed the quarterback for three years knows the answer to that up-or-down question.

We’ve seen the risk of paying guys who clearly didn’t remain the guy, with both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz gone from the Rams and Eagles, respectively, two years after getting paid. It’s easier to defend the Wentz deal; his stunning 2020 regression came largely out of the blue. It’s impossible to defend the Goff deal. The Rams should have known to wait. If they had, they wouldn’t have wasted so much cap and cap space and ultimately slipped an extra first-round pick into the Matthew Stafford trade package to unload the Goff contract.

We’ve also seen the risk of not paying a guy who clearly became the guy. Dallas dicked around with Dak Prescott for multiple years, waiting for him to wake up one day and decide to take a team-friendly deal when, in reality, his resolve simply strengthened. Ultimately, he maximized his leverage and forced the Cowboys to give him the best contract that any player in NFL history ever has received.

Enter the Bills and Josh Allen. Of the three quarterbacks from the 2018 first-round class who became eligible for second contracts as of the completion of the 2020 regular season, Allen stands out as the one who most clearly and obviously has reached a level of no-brainer performance as passer, runner, and play-extender.

But some in league circles think the Bills may actually wait a year to give Allen the reward he has earned. Presumably, the Bills see the bond between Allen and Buffalo, and they assume that, eventually, Allen will agree to a structure and compensation level that helps both player and team.

They may be right. Maybe Allen will do a team-friendly deal. Maybe he’s not determined to make as much money as he can in recognition of his skills, abilities, commitment, and sacrifices. Then again, maybe the Bills are playing with fire.

If Allen has an MVP season, the price goes up next year. Way up. And Allen would have every right, as he moves a year closer to free agency, to say to the Bills, “You had your chance to do the right thing last year. You knew what could happen if you didn’t.”

The fifth-year option makes it harder for Allen to get to the point of maximum leverage. Without an extension, the Bills would franchise tag him in 2023. And again in 2024. But that’s when he’d enter the Prescott phase, one year away from a 44-percent bump in his second franchise tag.

It remains unlikely that Allen would take that approach. That’s surely part of the strategic conclusion the Bills have reached after spending three years with him. But if they take advantage of his good nature and not offer him a contract before the 2021 season, that could change come 2022.

If it does, the Bills will have only themselves to blame.

22 responses to “Bills shouldn’t wait to extend Josh Allen

  1. I said Josh Allen and Justin Herbert would be Pro Bowl caliber QBS before they were drafted. I received so much flak it was unbelievable. That’s the difference between an average Joe and an AllPro.

  2. If they wait they could find themselves desperate like the Patriots. Once you start chasing QBs, its over.

  3. Count me in for an extended contract. Josh has the energy, tenacity, brains, athleticism, motivation and blue collar pedigree to be successful for a long time in Buffalo.

  4. The deal will get done. QB is the most important position on a team and we finally found one for the first time in 20+ years. Brandon Beane has proven that he takes care of his own, especially his own that he drafted and are worthy. It’s a matter of when, not if. Josh isn’t going anywhere.

  5. If I’m Buffalo, I’d wait too. I’m not denying that Allen didn’t have a great season last year, but comparing last season to his previous two, that was quite the significant jump in production. Sure, the addition to Diggs contributed to that, but I’d like to see how this year’s season plays out just to see if last year wasn’t a fluke.

  6. Trust The Process! Beane and McDermott are not going to let the best quarterback this franchise has seen since Jim Kelly get away.

  7. Probably waiting for him to get vaccinated. Really good player, but really dumb decision not to get vaccinated

  8. Well, he was really mediocre his until last year. Gotta see if that was a fluke. If he regresses it would have been wise to wait.

    Of course, there is risk that he goes nuclear and then the Bills are gonna hve to break the bank.

  9. Team “friendly” sounds all warm and fuzzy till the cash is on the table. Sure, Allen loves Buffalo, don’t mistake that for he and his agent taking millions less because he “loves” the city.

  10. His market value, mvp or not, is somewhere between $35 to $50 million a year, depends on his ego if Like Russ will need $50 if more team minded then around high 30’s. The kicker is how long, how much is fully guaranteed at signing (this will soon be near 100% to keep price down) and how much cash upfront.

  11. If you have an elite qb on a rookie contract, you enjoy it and try to maximize the window by paying other players instead, that’s my opinion.

  12. The Bills should not wait, but Josh Allen should. The franchise tag is your friend, Josh. Just ask Dak and Kirk. At the very least, wait til Lamar and Baker sign and then do a deal for no more than 3 or 4 years.

  13. I bet if he takes the jab the Bills front office is calling his agent within a half hour. Just sayin’

  14. We’ve been waiting for this problem for 25 years since Jim Kelly retired…pay the man!

  15. I would want to see more than one season of league leading type of play before spending league leading type of money.

  16. “They were warned.

    Pride comes before the fall.”

    Or, more accurately, your prediction that Allen would be a total bust came before he lit up the league, was in the MVP conversation, led his team to the AFCCG and swept the Patriots.

  17. The Eagles shouldn’t wait to extend Wentz.

    The Rams shouldn’t wait to extend Goff.

  18. I would wait until he shows he can beat Mahomes and the Chiefs. He has come up small in all their matchups.

  19. I was not high on Allen thru his first couple of years and he was wildly inconsistent. 2020 really surprised me. And while I think he can sustain the performance, I still do not think him to be a slam dunk yearly All-Star. The potential is clearly high for him to be that kind of player. But if it means paying him more after 2 sustained years, that may be worth it instead of hamstringing yourself on a mega-deal.

    Same with Dak. I think he is an above average QB. I still don’t know why Dallas gave him elite money. He wasn’t getting it elsewhere…

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