Four years ago today, Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen scored a seismic pay bump. After months of negotiations, the former third-round pick agreed to a four-year add-on worth $45MM with nearly $21MM fully guaranteed at signing. Before that, Allen was playing on his rookie deal – a four-year pact worth just $2.8MM in total.
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Few could dispute Allen’s value to the Bolts. As a rookie in 2013, Allen eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving and scored eight touchdowns. He back down to earth in 2014, but he was on pace for the best season of his career – 67 receptions and 725 yards through only eight games, before a lacerated kidney forced him off the field. With a clean bill of health for 2016, and his 25th birthday still on the horizon, the Chargers were happy to lock Allen down for several years.
Allen’s $11MM+ average annual salary put him in the top ten at his position at the time, appropriately slotting him ahead of Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns, who had just inked a four-year, $40MM deal. From the Chargers perspective, it was a short-term cap saver – it would have cost the team $15MM to keep him for an extra year via the franchise tag.
Unfortunately, Allen’s 2016 did not go according to plan as he suffered an ACL tear in the first half of the team’s very first game. But, after that, it was mostly smooth sailing – Allen went off for nearly 1,400 yards in 2017, giving him his first of three consecutive Pro Bowl nods.
Allen is once again set to enter his walk year as his four-year extension wraps up. And, once again, he’s in position for a pay raise.
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