Both the Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen seem to be singing the same tune regarding a contract extension — talks are moving along, albeit more slowly, with both sides committed to reaching a long-term deal.
Still, one insider believes there is the potential for the negotiations to go sideways. Chris Roling of Bleacher Report published a list of the top six players who could be headed for contract holdouts, listing Allen as one of the likely options.
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Potential Holdout Could Loom Over Process
As Roling noted, it didn’t necessarily seem likely that Allen would hold out after both sides had spoken so positively of the process, but it’s still a possibility given his stature in the league. He noted that Allen could have a good argument for getting a new deal now rather than waiting closer to the end of his contract.
“Still, a holdout is realistic because he’s a star quarterback who can afford, over the long-term, the cost of such a move. He’ll also ruin his team’s plans if he’s not in camps,” Roling wrote.
All Allen has to do is point toward names such as Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson getting extensions before their fourth years for justification, especially after his epic campaign. That and the small $6.9 million cap hit he has in 2021.
Nick Wojton of USA Today’s Bills Wire disagreed strongly with the assessment. He pointed out that Allen is already getting a significant raise next season since the Bills picked up his fifth-year option, saying that there is close to zero chance he would hold out.
A holdout would also seem unlikely given the tenor of Allen’s comments about the process. He has spoken about his desire to remain in Buffalo, and Bills head coach Sean McDermott has expressed plenty of optimism about how the process will play out.
“These things handle themselves,” McDermott said, via Sports Illustrated’s Bills Central. “They work themselves out when you’ve got two parties that want to be together and have the same end goal in mind. Josh is a great, young talent and he fits so well with Buffalo and the city and the town and the people of Buffalo. So I firmly believe it’s going to work itself out.”
Allen Could Help Bills on New Deal
While there has been some debate among insiders as to the total number of years and dollar amount of Allen’s likely contract, there is an overall belief that the Pro Bowl quarterback is willing to work with the team a bit. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted that Allen loves being in Buffalo and is willing to structure a new contract so it would allow the team to stay competitive over the coming years.
“As was told to me, look, he knows he’s going to get paid eventually, the Bills know he’s going to get paid eventually, so neither side is particularly worried about it,” Fowler said on ESPN, via Bleacher Report.