Washington DT Jonathan Allen has been a part of the team’s dysfunctional Bruce Allen regime and a part of the new Ron Rivera era. Apparently, he likes what he has seen from Rivera and is excited about the direction the team is heading.
“[W]e’re moving in the right direction, from the front office to the players, and I love everything that we’re building here,” Allen said (via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post). In speaking about his long-term goals, he added, “[i]t’s always been my dream to play my career in one spot. … This is my home. This is where I want to stay.”
WFT presumably shares those sentiments. Allen, the No. 17 overall pick of the 2017 draft, has largely lived up to his billing. Although a Lisfranc injury limited him to five games in his rookie campaign, he missed only one contest over the subsequent three seasons. He notched just two sacks in 2020 after recording 14 sacks across the 2018-19 seasons, but his 14 QB hits last year actually represented an increase from the 10 he posted in 2019. Pro Football Focus also gave him a terrific 83.7 pass-rushing grade, and PFF considered him the 18th-best interior defender in the league out of 125 qualifiers.
Washington has invested significant draft capital in its defensive front over the past few years, and that strategy is paying off. The team yielded the second-fewest yards per game and the fourth-fewest points per game last year, and Allen was a key component of that success. He is scheduled to play out the 2021 campaign under the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, which will pay him a little more than $10MM.
At this point, we haven’t heard anything to suggest that negotiations on a long-term extension have taken place, though it’s likely that the club has at least discussed parameters with Allen’s camp. However, those talks could be tricky. The top of the 4-3 interior defender market includes AAVs of $20MM and above, and Allen may shoot for a deal in that range. But unlike those $20MM players, Allen has not yet earned a Pro Bowl bid, nor has he put together a double-digit sack campaign, so Washington would likely be looking for something closer to a $15MM/year deal.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.