Joe Hortiz: Chargers Offered Extension To WR Keenan Allen

8:34pm: Adding some information on the Bolts’ talks with the 11-year veteran, Allen’s agent said (via X) the team only offered his client a pay cut for 2024 and indicated only one proposal came their way. The Chargers’ offer included larger pay cuts for 2025 and ’26, according to his agent, who indicated the team rejected a counteroffer. Allen had signed a four-year, $80.1MM extension in September 2020; that contract is now on the Bears’ payroll.

3:54pm: In addition to releasing Mike Williams, the Chargers helped put an end to their cap crunch by trading fellow wideout Keenan Allen to the Bears. That move came after multiple attempts on the part of Los Angeles’ new front office to work out a new deal.

General manager Joe Hortiz said on Thursday the Bolts presented Allen with “multiple contract options,” as noted by The Athletic’s Daniel Popper. That included an extension offer, one of the ways Allen’s cumbersome cap figure could have been reduced. It was reported in the wake of the deal the six-time Pro Bowler turned down a pay cut request, something Allen himself later confirmed.

An extension would have allowed Los Angeles to retain the 31-year-old for years to come while dropping his 2024 cap charge (one of four which was over $34MM) in the process. A multi-year agreement – adding onto the one season remaining on Allen’s current pact – also likely would have ensured he remained with the Chargers for the remainder of his decorated career. Prior to free agency, the Cal product expressed confidence he would stay with the only team he has played for, but that did not turn out to be the case.

Hortiz took on the Chargers’ GM gig in January to serve as Tom Telesco‘s replacement. He faced the task of dealing with the financial ramifications related to Williams, Allen and edge rushers Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa in his first offseason at the helm. The latter two have had their contracts restructured, ensuring they will be in place for at least one more season. Receiver, by contrast, is now a glaring hole on the team’s roster.

Los Angeles has 2023 first-rounder Quentin Johnston in place as a starter for the time being. Josh Palmer – who has operated a third option behind Allen and Williams while stepping in during their respective absences in his career – is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Adding a pass-catcher early in the draft (in addition to perusing the secondary free agent market) will no doubt be a priority for the Chargers. The team currently holds the No. 5 selection in the first round.

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