For the first time since Jim Kelly was under center, the Buffalo Bills finally have a franchise quarterback and soon enough the Bills are going to have to pay Josh Allen to stay in Buffalo for the foreseeable future.
But, it’s not something they are going to address immediately, at least until after they complete the NFL Draft on April 29.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott met with the media on Thursday after the team announced they had signed 2017 No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky to a one-year contract and they discussed several different topics. Among them was signing Allen to a long-term deal.
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Allen Contract Talks Will Come Later in the Spring
When Beane met with the media at the end of the season, he said that the Bills would approach Allen’s representatives about an extension during the offseason at some point but they didn’t exactly say when. On Thursday, Beane gave a clearer timeline of when that would take place.
“We’ll talk to Josh and his people probably later in the spring after the draft where we can just focus on that,” Beane said during a video conference call on Thursday. “That’s obviously a big financial commitment that you have to make so that will probably be in May through the summer.”
Through the first three seasons of his NFL career, Allen has made a name for himself and has improved each and every year. As a rookie, he was thrown into the fire and completed just 52.8% of his passes for 2,074 yards and 10 touchdowns in 11 starts. But, he made up for his passing deficiencies with his legs and ran for a career-high 631 yards and eight touchdowns on 89 carries.
The year one to year two improvement was noticeable as he threw for 3,089 yards and 20 touchdowns while leading the Bills to their second playoff appearance in three years. But Allen’s biggest improvement came this past season when he improved his completion percentage by just under 11 points and also threw for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns.
He put himself in the NFL MVP conversation in just his third year in the league and also lined himself up for a big contract this offseason, which could possibly eat up a large portion of the Bills’ salary cap for the year to come. So, with the lowered salary cap this season, Beane knows that he needs to be careful how he structures contracts moving forward.
“That’s the big thing for us is we haven’t finalized a deal with Josh and that’s the biggest piece of not only this year but for years to come,” Beane said on Thursday. “Working every other deal around that and obviously the uncertainty of the cap changed things for us. But you know you can fit as much as you want as you well know with converting and restructuring but the more you do that, the more you kick it down the road.”
Allen Wants to Stay in Buffalo
Throughout the 2020 season, Allen revealed that he wants to stay in Buffalo. His true intentions were revealed after Bills fans donated over a million dollars to the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo in the name of his grandmother, Patricia, after she died ahead of their Week 9 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Allen played the game with just a few people knowing about the news and went on to complete over 80% of his passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-34 victory.
Due to the donations that flowed in, the hospital named a wing of its 10th floor after Allen’s grandmother. In the week after the game, Allen said he wanted to stay in Buffalo for as long as he could.
“[Buffalo] is truly a special place and I know my family is forever engraved here, myself included, and I don’t ever want to leave obviously,” Allen said. “I want to play here for as long as I can and give back to the community and give back to Bills Mafia.”
Allen has taken the Bills to new heights in the past season and Beane is more than likely going to do whatever he can to make sure the Bills lock him up for the foreseeable future.