TUESDAY, 6:09pm: The Chargers are offering Allen more than $10MM annually, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link), who adds that the two sides aren’t all that far apart in talks.
MONDAY, 7:57pm: The Chargers are exploring a long-term deal with wide receiver Keenan Allen, sources tell Connor Orr of NFL.com. Allen and the club are interested in working out an accord with a length of four or five years, according to Orr.
Extension talks between San Diego and Allen have been rumored for some time, as Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported in March that the club was expected to reach out to its star pass-catcher following once free agency and the draft concluded. Both those markers have passed, of course, but Gehlken tweets today that the situation is “still developing,” indicating that it’s too soon to say whether these negotiations will result in a deal.
Allen has been a force since entering the league as a third-round pick in 2013, and is still only 24 years old. After topping 1,000 yards receiving and scoring eight touchdowns during his rookie campaign, Allen came back down to earth in 2014, but was on pace for the best season of his career last year. With 67 receptions and 725 yards under his belt through only eight games, Allen suffered a lacerated kidney and was forced to miss the rest of the campaign. He’s expected to be fully healthy for the 2016 season, but it’s easy to wonder what might have been.
Given his career stats, Allen’s camp is sure to ask — at a minimum — to match the four-year, $40MM extension inked by Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns last week. Hurns and Allen are the same age, but Allen could surely argue that he’s worth more than than Jacksonville pass-catcher. An $11MM annual salary, making Allen the eighth-highest paid receiver in the NFL, isn’t out of the question, and the Chargers star should also top $20MM in guarantees.
Were the two sides to reach an impasse between now and next spring, the Chargers could hold the franchise tag over Allen’s head, allowing them to control him for one more season (at least). The wide receiver franchise figure was $14.599MM in 2015, so San Diego would need to be willing to carry a cap charge north of $15MM in order to retain Allen if it goes down that road.
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