Keenan Allen

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/31/20

Here are the minor moves from 2020’s final day:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: C Alex Mack

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Chargers, Keenan Allen Agree On Extension

Keenan Allen‘s consistency over the past few years will result in a massive payday. The Chargers are giving their No. 1 wide receiver a four-year deal worth more than $80MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Officially, it’s a four-year, $80.1MM pact, Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com tweets.

This will make Allen the NFL’s second-highest-paid wideout — behind only Julio Jones. It represents the second extension of Allen’s career; he signed his first in 2016. Allen was set to enter the 2020 season as the league’s 18th-highest-paid receiver.

Illustrating how much the wideout market has changed over the past four years, Allen’s deal will come with $50MM guaranteed, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). That will place the veteran weapon seventh among wideouts. Allen’s 2016 pact was worth $24MM guaranteed.

One of the league’s premier route runners, Allen has been the Bolts’ No. 1 wideout practically since the team drafted him in the 2013 third round. He missed extensive time in 2015 and ’16 due to injuries but has shown tremendous consistency since. The 28-year-old target has made the past three Pro Bowls, playing in every game over that span, and has scored six touchdowns in each of those seasons. After a career-high 1,393 yards in 2017, Allen eclipsed 1,190 yards in 2018 and ’19.

With Mike Williams uncertain for Week 1, and the Bolts not possessing much in the way of proven targets behind their starting duo, Allen’s status on the team has never been more important. He will be essential when the Chargers hand the reins to first-round quarterback Justin Herbert.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

This Date In Transactions History: Chargers’ Keenan Allen Signs $45MM Extension

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. 

[RELATED: Make-Or-Break Year: Titans WR Corey Davis]

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Keenan Allen Expected To Miss Rest Of Preseason

A semblance of past injury-related storm clouds are creeping onto the Chargers’ radar. Derwin James may be an IR-return candidate, and one of the contending team’s other top players will miss time as well.

Keenan Allen is expected to miss the remainder of the Bolts’ preseason slate, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reporting (via Twitter) the Pro Bowl wide receiver suffered an ankle injury in practice this week. This marks the second setback Allen has suffered during camp. The seventh-year wideout also ran into knee trouble during the Chargers’ joint practices with the Rams, per The Athletic’s Daniel Popper (on Twitter).

This being the Chargers, who have lost several key players to severe early-season injuries in recent years, concern is natural. But Schefter cautions Allen’s ankle ailment is not considered serious. He is expected to be ready in time for the team’s opener against the Colts.

Allen has done well to shake the injury concerns that plagued his mid-2010s run. He missed 23 games between the 2015 and ’16 seasons, the latter instance because of a Week 1 ACL tear. With Tyrell Williams now gone, the Bolts’ receiving corps is now thinner and would be less equipped to withstand an Allen absence. But the 27-year-old standout has not missed a game over the past two seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Allen, Beckham, Jackson, Osemele

The Chargers picked up their biggest win of the season last night against the Chiefs, but they didn’t escape Kansas City unscathed. Already dealing with injuries to running backs Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon, they suffered another blow when star receiver Keenan Allen went down in the first half. Allen never returned to the game, and now we have an update on his status. Allen has been diagnosed with a hip pointer, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). While it is a somewhat significant injury, Rapoport notes there is no structural damage to his hip. He writes that it isn’t a longterm injury, and although he says he could “miss some time” it sounds like Allen will be back in time for the playoffs at the absolute latest.

Here are more injury updates from around the league:

  • Odell Beckham Jr. will miss a second straight game this week, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur announced today (Twitter link). Beckham is dealing with a quad injury, but the details are murky. He apparently suffered the injury a few weeks ago, and was initially able to play through it, but seemingly it’s taken a turn for the worse. The team has been very tightlipped about what exactly happened, but more details should leak out eventually.
  • The Buccaneers are still somewhat alive in the playoff race, but they’ll be playing the Ravens this week without receiver DeSean Jackson. Jackson will be missing his third straight game with a thumb injury. While the Bucs would surely love to have Jackson out there against a stingy Baltimore defense, Chris Godwin has filled in just fine in his place across from Mike Evans. All signs continue to point toward Jackson and Tampa Bay separating at the end of the year.
  • The Raiders have suddenly come alive and played some good games the past few weeks, upsetting the Steelers as massive underdogs last week. But they’ll be facing a tough Bengals defensive line without at least one starter on their offensive line. Left guard Kelechi Osemele has been ruled out for the game, and right guard Gabe Jackson is questionable after not practicing all week. If Jackson can’t play either it would be a disaster scenario for the Raiders, as their top reserve guard was just placed on injured reserve.

Chargers WR Keenan Allen Cleared For OTAs

Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen has been cleared for organized team activities as he continues to recover from a torn ACL, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com. Allen, who suffered his knee injury during the first game of the 2016 season, is now ahead of schedule, but Los Angeles is still using a “cautious approach,” per Williams.Keenan Allen (Vertical)

“It was good to see [Allen] back,” head coach Anthony Lynn said. “He’s been released by the doctors, so he’s full go. We’re just working him in a little bit at a time.”

While Allen has been a force when on the field, he’s appeared in only nine games over the past two seasons due to injury. In 2015, Allen had already managed 67 receptions, 725 receiving yards, and four touchdowns in eight contests before going down with a lacerated kidney. Still only 25 years old, Allen is signed through the 2020 season after inking a four-year, $45MM extension last summer.

While the Chargers may not have another receiver of Allen’s caliber on the roster in the event that he is forced to miss time, Los Angeles has acquired an enviable amount of depth at the wideout position. The Chargers used the seventh overall pick on Clemson pass-catcher Mike Williams, who will team with Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman, and Travis Benjamin as the Bolts’ wide receivers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Officially Place Keenan Allen On IR

Keenan Allen‘s season is already over. The Chargers announced that they have officially placed their best wide receiver on IR. In a related move, the Chargers have activated defensive end Joey Bosa to their 53-man roster.Keenan Allen (Vertical)

Allen suffered what was feared to be a torn ACL on Sunday. Today, those fears were confirmed by an MRI. Without Allen, the Chargers are without their top receiving weapon and that is especially devastating since Stevie Johnson is already on IR. Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin, Dontrelle Inman, and Isaiah Burse will be asked to pick up the slack at receiver. Of course, tight end Antonio Gates can expect to see more targets as well.

We expect the Chargers to explore free agent options and the list of available veterans includes names such as Brian Hartline, Roddy White, and Aaron Dobson. Of course, none of those players can match the skill set of a healthy Allen, but beggars can’t be choosers.

If there is one silver lining here, it is that Allen’s other ligaments are intact, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That will make rehab a bit easier for the 24-year-old.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Allen, DeCastro, Osweiler, RG3

The Chargers are not yet ready to confirm a torn-ACL diagnosis for Keenan Allen, but Mike McCoy acknowledged there is speculation about that likely season-ending injury, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets.

The fourth-year wideout who signed a four-year, $45MM extension this summer will have an MRI done on Monday. But the widespread notion remains the Bolts’ No. 1 target will join Stevie Johnson on IR.

San Diego, which has two wideouts on its practice squad, could opt to bring back James Jones, whom the team cut after signing him following the Johnson injury. Or, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out, the Chargers could look at other available wideouts like Roddy White, Brian Hartline or Aaron Dobson. Florio also posits the Chargers could attempt to trade for Josh Gordon, given that they’ve lost two of their top four targets over the past several weeks.

Here’s the latest from around the AFC as Week 1 moves into its Sunday-night game.

  • Signed to a five-year, $50MM deal earlier this week, Steelers All-Pro guard David DeCastro called the commitment “a weight off his shoulders,” according to Ralph Paulk of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The fifth-year guard who was previously entering a contract year also said he would have considered other options had the Steelers and his camp not come together on the extension. “I tried not to think about it early on, but I was really hoping I could stay here,” he said. “Obviously, when we were getting close, it was harder to push back. Now we can move forward and worry about what’s important.”
  • Robert Griffin III said he sprained his shoulder during the Browns‘ 29-10 loss to the Eagles today. “I can move my left arm. I’m in pain, but it will be OK, just have to monitor it,” Griffin said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We’ll see more tomorrow and see how my shoulder is feeling and just move on from there.” Griffin, who made his first start since 2014 on Sunday, finished the game and expects to play in Week 2.
  • Texans owner Bob McNair gave new starter Brock Osweiler a glowing endorsement today after the Texans’ Week 1 win over the Bears. “I think he’s everything we thought he would be,” McNair said via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “He performed under pressure. Several times he escaped. He completed some passes after getting pressure. He has good composure and he’s poised.” The fifth-year passer and recipient of a four-year, $72MM deal completed 22-of-35 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his Houston debut.
  • The Patriots‘ clearing out $2.8MM in cap space thanks to Devin McCourty‘s restructure will help them retain their key defenders playing on expiring contracts, Doug Kyed of NESN.com writes. An in-season extension for impending UFA Dont’a Hightower, thus lowering his $7.75MM 2016 cap hit, would be a way to help the Patriots sign both 2017 UFA Jamie Collins and RFA Malcolm Butler, Kyed offers. New England possesses more than $11MM in cap space for 2016 and stands to possess more than $60MM come 2017. Jabaal Sheard, Logan Ryan and Sebastian Vollmer join Hightower and Collins as key UFAs for the seven-time defending AFC East champions.

Keenan Allen Suffers Likely Torn ACL

For the second consecutive season, Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen‘s season has been cut short by a major injury. Initial tests show that Allen has likely suffered a torn ACL, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Video of the play can be viewed here, courtesy of Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports.Keenan Allen (Vertical)

[RELATED: Philip Rivers Restructures Contract]

Allen, who signed a four-year, $45MM extension earlier this year, has been a force since entering the league as a third-round pick in 2013, and is still only 24 years old. After topping 1,000 yards receiving and scoring eight touchdowns during his rookie campaign, Allen came back down to earth in 2014, but was on pace for the best season of his career last year. With 67 receptions and 725 yards under his belt through only eight games, Allen suffered a lacerated kidney and was forced to miss the rest of the campaign.

The Chargers had already lost another member of their pass-catching corps, as Steve Johnson is done for the year after tearing his meniscus in August. As such, San Diego’s depth chart will now see free agent signee Travis Benjamin at the top, followed by Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman, and Isaiah Burse. The club has two WRs on its practice squad in Jonathan Krause and Dom Williams that could conceivably be promoted, or the Chargers could turn to the free agent market for help.

One intriguing option for the Bolts may be James Jones, who spent time with the club this summer before being released. Seyi Ajirotutu and Vincent Brown also have a history with the Chargers, but neither is likely to make much of an impact. Veterans such as Roddy White and Nate Washington are available, but the free agent with the highest upside is probably Rueben Randle, who was released by the Eagles last month.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Cardinals, Chiefs, Chargers

The contract extensions the Cardinals awarded quarterback Carson Palmer and future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald on Friday extend the team’s Super Bowl window beyond this season, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com contends. As an added benefit, the Cardinals now have extra time to find a successor to the 36-year-old Palmer, and they no longer have to worry about losing two of their top wideouts – Fitzgerald and free agent-to-be Michael Floyd – at season’s end. Worst-case scenario, the Cardinals’ receiving corps will still contain Fitzgerald and John Brown in 2017.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Palmer’s deal with the Cardinals features a $6.75MM signing bonus and fully guarantees his $15.5MM salary and bonus for 2017, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. On the other hand, neither Palmer’s $12.5MM salary nor $1.5MM roster bonus for 2018 are guaranteed.
  • The Chiefs‘ signing of Nick Foles has no impact on Alex Smith‘s short- or long-term future with the club, according to head coach Andy Reid (via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com). “It’s Alex’s football team,” Reid said. “Nick knows that it’s Alex’s team. Alex knows it’s Alex’s team.” Foles, who was next to Reid, echoed that sentiment. Smith is under contract through 2018 after signing a four-year extension in September 2014.
  • The four-year extension the Chargers gave receiver Keenan Allen in June is the team’s best deal, opines Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap. Allen’s contract is worth $45MM, including $20.7MM in guarantees, which Fitzgerald regards as a bargain for a 24-year-old who has averaged 93 catches, 1,104 yards and seven touchdowns per 16 games during his three seasons in the NFL. Conversely, the four-year, $28MM pact the Chargers handed left tackle King Dunlap last offseason is their worst, writes Fitzgerald, who argues the Bolts made an unnecessary commitment (including $8.5MM in guarantees) to a player who only should’ve been a stopgap.
  • In other Friday news, Oakland waived pass rusher Damontre Moore, San Francisco lost receiver Eric Rogers for the season and Kansas City agreed to a deal with safety Jeron Johnson.

Zach Links contributed to this post.