The oldest of Washington’s four first-round defensive linemen, Jonathan Allen is going into his fifth-year option season. Washington, however, will explore keeping the defensive tackle around for much longer.
Allen confirmed Wednesday he and the team have begun extension negotiations, per the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala (on Twitter). The 2017 first-round pick said in May he wanted to stay in the nation’s capital long-term; he reiterated that hope Wednesday and would prefer to have a new deal by the start of training camp.
Since selecting Allen, Washington added Daron Payne (2018), Montez Sweat (’19) and Chase Young (’20) in Round 1. The team has invested tremendous draft capital on its defensive front, but Sweat and Young can be kept on their rookie deals well into the 2020s. With Ryan Kerrigan gone, Washington has an opening for a veteran-contract D-lineman.
Allen, 26, has bounced back well from an injury-marred rookie year. After a Lisfranc injury limited the Alabama product to just five games in 2017, he has missed just one contest over the past three seasons. Pro Football Focus rated Allen as a top-20 interior D-lineman last season. Between the 2018-19 campaigns, Allen totaled 14 sacks and 25 quarterback knockdowns. He will command a lucrative extension.
DeForest Buckner and Chris Jones did well to bridge the gap between Aaron Donald and the D-tackle field, salary-wise, last year. The Colts and Chiefs standout inside rushers, respectively, signed for $21MM and $20MM per year. This range would figure to be an Allen target, though it might be a bit too lofty for Washington’s tastes. The Grady Jarrett and Kenny Clark re-ups (for $17.5MM and $17MM on average, respectively) may be more relevant to the Washington-Allen negotiations.