A number of Buffalo Bills players have taken pay cuts in recent weeks to help the team stay under the salary cap and keep last season’s AFC Championship squad largely intact, but an insider believes it may be less likely that Josh Allen gives the team a discount on his next deal.
The team placed a priority on giving Allen a contract extension that would lock him in with Buffalo for the near future while also giving a hefty bump to his rookie salary. While the talks are yet to begin, there is already speculation as to what kind of contract the team will likely offer for the Pro Bowler.
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Allen May Have Advantage in Talks
In a mailbag, Buffalo News writer Jay Skurski addressed whether it was likely that Allen would follow suit after several teammates restructured deals to take pay cuts. As ESPN noted, the league and NFL Players Association agreed to a 2021 salary cap of $182.5 million, an 8 percent decrease from last season. The Bills and other teams have had to do some extra work to stay within the lower cap, but Skurski said that Allen is not likely to take a lesser deal and predicted he would make somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 million annually.
It’s conceivable Allen will take some form of ‘hometown discount,’ although I don’t think he’ll have much trouble paying his mortgage either way. The difference between Allen and the players who reworked their contracts is an important one – Allen’s not getting cut. Any player approached about a pay cut has a decision to make: Say no, and risk being let go on the spot. When considering that, it’s not a bad idea to maybe take a bit less, but get more in guaranteed money.
The Bills have already done work this offseason to give Allen help while creating some breathing room around the cap. Offensive lineman Mitch Morse was among the Bills players to take restructured deals, with the center taking close to $2 million less to remain with the team.
Allen’s Deal Expected To Be Massive
After a breakout season in which he led the team to a 13-3 regular season and broke a number of passing records, Allen is expected to become one of the league’s highest-paid signal callers. In its analysis, Sportrac predicted that the Bills would break from teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, who gave Patrick Mahomes a 10-year deal, and offer a shorter-term deal to Allen with big annual money.
The football analyst predicted he would end up with a 4-year, $156 million extension — which would be second only to Mahomes in new money average salary ($42 million) and total value of new money ($168 million).
The Bills have made it clear that Allen’s extension is one of the biggest offseason priorities. General manager Brandon Beane said that the discussions will likely start once in the coming weeks, once the team is done focusing on the NFL Draft.
“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. “That’s obviously a big financial commitment that you have to make so that will probably be in May through the summer.”