Jags In Talks With Calvin Ridley, Josh Allen

Trent Baalke said in January the Jaguars will have Josh Allen back on their 2024 team, pointing to a franchise tag as a mortal lock. The team is not closing up shop on reaching an extension with its top edge rusher just yet.

Stopping short of confirming the Jags will tag Allen, Baalke said the sides remain in talks. Given Allen’s contract-year surge that ended with a 17.5-sack season — a Jags single-year record — this might be a tricky negotiation that requires more time. The 2019 first-round pick had not previously eclipsed 10.5 sacks in a season. Allen is set to turn 27 in July.

The tag will allow the Jags until July 15 to reach a deal. They have used the tag each year in the 2020s, cuffing Yannick Ngakoue, Cam Robinson and Evan Engram. The team extended Robinson and Engram, after trading Ngakoue.

While Allen’s place on the 2024 Jags appears a near-certainty, Calvin Ridley is tied to unique contract conditions that complicate his future in Jacksonville. Already sending a 2023 fifth-round pick to the Falcons, the Jaguars would owe them an additional 2024 third if they were to let Ridley hit the market. If Ridley re-signs once there or departs, Jacksonville owes Atlanta its 2024 third. If the team views the wideout as a true priority and reaches what is technically an extension — a deal before the 2024 league year begins March 13 — the Jags would owe a second-rounder instead of a third.

It would seem the Jags would be better served by waiting out Ridley and protecting their second-rounder, but the team wants to retain the former first-round pick — regardless of how that comes to pass. Baalke and Ridley met one-on-one recently, and the team is set to talk with the veteran pass catcher’s camp at the Combine.

We’re not real concerned with that, whether it’s a second or third round,” Baalke said of the second pick to be conveyed in the Falcons trade. “We’re just going to work with the player and see if we can come to an agreement. Whether that’s before the compensation changes or not, that remains to be seen. We’re more focused on the player.

I had a great talk with Calvin, know exactly where he’s at and and he knows where we’re at.”

Thanks to the end-of-season collapse that left the Jaguars out of the playoffs, their second-round pick checks in 48th. Their third-rounder sits 79th. Barring a Ridley extension before 3pm CT on March 13, that pick will transfer to the Falcons. The Jags have a little more than $24MM in cap space; an Allen tag would account for all of that, as the cap spike moved the linebacker tag to $24MM.

If Ridley were to hit the market, however, the Jags will have likely intense competition. If the Colts follow through with a Michael Pittman Jr.┬átag, the absences of he and Tee Higgins on the market would boost Ridley’s value.

Do not look for the team to consider Cam Robinson‘s contract as one to move to create space. Baalke expects the team’s 2021 and ’22 franchise tag recipient to be back with the team. The longtime Jags left tackle is due a $16.25MM base salary and is set to carry a $21.19MM cap number. Another extension would reduce that cap charge, though it is unclear if that is the cards just yet for the 2017 second-round pick.

Robinson signed a three-year, $52.75MM extension in April 2022. Although the Dave Caldwell regime drafted Robinson and he was first tagged during Urban Meyer‘s offseason in charge, Baalke was at the helm when the Jags finalized the extension. Pro Football Focus graded Robinson, who missed much of last season due to a PED ban and a subsequent knee injury, 46th overall among tackles.

View Comments (0)