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Lions, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown Agree On Extension

5:25pm: St. Brown will collect $35.28MM fully guaranteed at signing, as detailed by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. That figure includes a $16.5MM signing bonus and guaranteed base salaries in 2024 and ’25. St. Brown’s salary in 2026 is set at $27.5MM, and it will shift to a full guarantee next year. Likewise, much of his 2027 salary ($23.37MM) will be guaranteed by 2026.

St. Brown’s cap hit will check in at $4.86MM this season, per Over the Cap. It will jump to $13.9MM next year before ranging between $28.9MM and $41MM after that. One void year is present in the deal.

10:51am: One of the Lions’ top extension tasks is now complete. The defending NFC North champions have a deal in place with Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is set to become the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver.

St. Brown agreed to terms on a four-year extension NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports is worth more than $120MM. Of that total, $77MM is guaranteed. This deal will lock St. Brown down through the 2028 season.

[RELATED: Lions, Jared Goff Begin Extension Talks]

The guarantees at signing are not yet known, but the AAV eclipsing $30MM will make St. Brown the clubhouse leader at wide receiver. Tyreek Hill‘s $30MM-per-year Dolphins extension stood as the top WR payment for two years, but in an offseason in which Justin Jefferson and CeeDee Lamb in contract years, St. Brown now sits atop the position. In terms of total guarantees, St. Brown’s $77MM surpass Cooper Kupp‘s $75MM.

The structure of this contract will be key, as it took lofty final-year numbers to balloon Hill and Davante Adams‘ deals to their AAV places. St. Brown’s 2028 pay will assuredly be nonguaranteed, but its value will determine how well his camp did. CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson adds some clarity here, noting the deal will average $28MM per year over its first three seasons. St. Brown has $14MM-plus due in injury guarantees in 2026; those will likely convert to full guarantees in either 2025 or ’26.

Regardless of how this deal is structured, St. Brown has done remarkably well for himself. The USC product entered the NFL as a fourth-round pick in 2021. Being a positional salary leader represents the value he has brought to the Lions over the past three seasons.

Famously able to name every wideout chosen in front of him in the 2021 draft, St. Brown has shown improvement in each of the past two seasons. After a 912-yard rookie year, the former 112th overall pick posted a 1,161-yard 2022 season. Helping the Lions secure their first division title since 1993, St. Brown delivered his best work last season. The 6-foot wideout totaled 1,515 yards and 10 touchdowns, firmly entrenching himself as one of the NFL’s best wide receivers. The Lions have rewarded him for the early-career production.

A March report placed the likely value of St. Brown’s second contract between $26-$28MM per year. Bettering that — should the final numbers support the above-referenced WR AAV record — serves as a reflection of the 24-year-old’s importance to the Lions and does well to set the stage for the Jefferson and Lamb negotiations. The league now having two $30MM-AAV wideouts will be good news for the Vikings and Cowboys stars; both should be expected to eclipse this number when the times comes. For now, though, St. Brown leads the pack.

The Lions are not strangers to authorizing megadeals for wide receivers. The team’s March 2012 extension for Calvin Johnson served as the receiver highwater mark for many years. Illustrating how times have changed around the league, that was a seven-year agreement. It also came during a period in which the salary cap was stagnating in the early years of the 2011 CBA. The 2020 CBA has brought bigger cap spikes, including this year’s record-setting rise that elevated the spending ceiling by more than $30MM. Players are increasingly agreeing to shorter-term deals, and St. Brown’s will allow him — should he stay on his rookie-contract production pace — to push for a third contract while still in his 20s.

In terms of production and accolades, St. Brown is ahead of Megatron’s pace. The Hall of Famer was 1-for-3 in 1,000-yard seasons — granted, he was part of considerably worse teams in the late 2000s — at this point in his career and did not make a Pro Bowl until Year 4. St. Brown, of course, will need to unlock another level to be mentioned in Johnson’s class. But he has become Jared Goff‘s go-to player. St. Brown joins Johnson and Herman Moore as the only Lions to produce a 1,500-yard receiving season. The 17-game schedule benefits today’s players in this area, but the Lions will be on St. Brown building on his 2023 performance.

St. Brown’s deal comes during an offseason in which a Goff extension is squarely on Detroit’s radar. Penei Sewell is also now extension-eligible; Aidan Hutchinson will be eligible for a new deal in 2025. The Lions’ roster math will change substantially this year, and this deal serves as the first domino.

Lions, RT Penei Sewell Reach Record-Setting Extension

On what will go down as one of the bigger days a single franchise has put together on the contract front in recent NFL history, the Lions have another record-setting agreement in place. Not long after Amon-Ra St. Brown‘s deal emerged, Penei Sewell is now locked down long term.

Sewell agreed to terms on a four-year, $112MM extension, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo reports. That $28MM-per-year number shatters a right tackle AAV record. Not only is this the new right tackle standard, Sewell’s second contract doubles as the largest ever given to an offensive lineman.

The contract will average $30MM per year over its first three seasons, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones reports. It would seem this deal will run through 2029, with the Lions having a fifth-year option on Sewell that covered 2025. Indeed, SI.com’s Albert Breer confirms the extension runs through ’29 after an exercised option.

The deal includes $85MM guaranteed, Garafolo adds. That guarantee number comes in well north of any other O-lineman’s figure as well. Andrew Thomas‘ $67MM Giants guarantee previously stood as the current high-water mark. No other OL is tied to a guarantee higher than $64MM. This represents a tremendous commitment to Sewell, who has thus far rewarded the Lions for their first-round investment in 2021.

Despite the Lions having two years of control remaining via the option, they will pass on that process to do an extension now. While Thomas needed to agree to a five-year deal to lock in monster tackle money after his third season, the Lions will reward Sewell while giving him a chance to negotiate a third contract — should he stay in top form — in his late 20s. Sewell will not turn 24 until October.

It is difficult to overstate the commitment the Lions are making to Sewell. The right tackle market finally reached the $20MM-per-year place in 2023, when the Eagles gave Lane Johnson another extension and the Chiefs matched that $20MM-AAV payment for free agent Jawaan Taylor. Sewell effectively has his own salary bracket at the position. His $28MM AAV also comes in $3MM higher than Laremy Tunsil‘s LT-record number. This is a rather big day for a player who joined the Lions after opting out of his final college season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Sewell and St. Brown came to Detroit in the first Brad Holmes-Dan Campbell draft. Each has become an impact player, with Sewell finishing last season as a first-team All-Pro. The Oregon alum has two Pro Bowls on his resume and has extensive experience at both tackle spots. The Lions drafted Sewell seventh overall and kicked him to left tackle after a 2021 Taylor Decker injury. Decker returned in 2022, and the Lions followed through with their initial Sewell plan. They have since seen him become one of the game’s best right tackles.

Sewell’s move back to right tackle coincided with the Lions forming one of the league’s best offensive lines. The team paired a Decker-Sewell tackle tandem with Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow. Even as the Lions saw some guard instability crop up due to Halapoulivaati Vaitai‘s health over the past two years, the team offered Jared Goff top-tier protection and opened regular run lanes for the likes of Jamaal Williams, David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. This O-line has played a central role in Goff’s Motor City resurgence — one that is on track to produce a big extension for the veteran quarterback, most likely before Week 1 — and the Lions’ journey from a three-win 2021 to last season’s NFC championship game.

The Lions did not give up on keeping four-year guard starter Jonah Jackson in free agency, but the team pivoted to a cheaper alternative upon learning where his market was headed. The club’s Sewell plans undoubtedly factored into that decision. The Lions already have Ragnow on a top-tier center contract and Decker signed to an upper-crust LT deal. Decker is going into a contract year, though he made interesting news by revealing discussions on a third contract have begun.

The Lions are betting big early on a player who has shown dominant form. Pro Football Focus rated Sewell as the NFL’s top tackle last year, particularly lauding his run-blocking ability. ESPN’s pass block win rate placed Sewell sixth. PFF slotted Sewell 10th among tackles in 2022, and the Lions certainly believe a quality prime is ahead for the former No. 7 overall pick.

Detroit landed Sewell after Cincinnati opted for Ja’Marr Chase at No. 5 three years ago, as the Bengals added Joe Burrow‘s former teammate rather than address a then-glaring RT need. This became the Lions’ gain. While Decker is going into his age-31 season — a contract year — the Lions still have the tandem heading into a fourth year together.

It will be interesting to see how this megadeal impacts Decker’s Detroit future, but the defending NFC North champions have two key parts of a high-stakes offseason itinerary checked off via the St. Brown and Sewell deals. In all likelihood, a third Goff contract is up next.

Jets To Trade QB Zach Wilson To Broncos

Zach Wilson‘s time in New York is set to come to an end. The Jets have found a trade partner for the former No. 2 pick in the form of the Broncos.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports the Jets will send Wilson to Denver as part of a Day 3 pick swap. The teams will exchange sixth- and seventh-round picks, with New York acquiring No. 203 and the Broncos adding Wilson and No. 256. Both clubs will evenly split Wilson’s $5.45MM in 2024 compensation, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Dianna Russini of The Athletic notes this agreement has been in the works “for weeks.” The Broncos have long been linked to a quarterback addition this offseason, with Russell Wilson unsurprisingly being released. That move left a vacancy under center, but in the lead-in to the draft Jarrett Stidham was in place atop the depth chart. That will remain the case for the time being, but Wilson represents a young depth option for Denver. One year remains on the latter’s rookie contract.

Having failed to secure a long-term answer under center with Sam Darnold, the Jets selected Wilson second overall in 2021. That made him one of five first-round QBs that year, but only one (Trevor Lawrence) is still with his original team. Wilson – who logged 33 starts in three seasons as a Jet – joins Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones in having been dealt at a fraction of the cost relative to the draft capital used in their selection.

Following a rookie season in which Wilson struggled with accuracy and turnovers, he did not progress as hoped in Year 2. The 24-year-old was limited to nine contests in 2022 and saw Mike White take over as New York’s starter. That led to an aggressive pursuit of Aaron Rodgers last offseason, and while his Achilles tear prompted Wilson to once again see game action, things did not go as planned. Wilson in particular and the Jets’ offense as a whole struggled mightily.

As a result, it came as no surprise when the BYU alum was given permission to seek out a trade partner. Wilson’s cap charge ($11.1MM) and poor play hindered his value, and as expected the Jets have needed to attach draft capital to him to land a pick in return. Considering the gap between when New York began fielding offers and today’s agreement being reached, this marks a miniscule (but nevertheless expected) price from the Jets’ perspective.

New York has Rodgers and veteran backup Tyrod Taylor on the books, but the team could use the upcoming draft to add a developmental third option. Denver, meanwhile, will add Wilson to a depth chart featuring Stidham and Ben DiNucci. The lack of proven passers has led to considerable speculation tying the Broncos to an aggressive trade up the board for a first-round quarterback. Head coach Sean Payton himself is believed to be on board with such a move.

This deal has not tangibly taken away the draft capital which would be needed for Denver to move into the top five or top 10 in the first-round order. With Wilson in place, though, Payton has a depth signal-caller to work with for at least the 2024 campaign. Where Wilson slots on the Broncos’ depth chart following the draft – and as such the opportunities for playing time he receives in the Mile High City – will be interesting to watch.

Chiefs Extend HC Andy Reid, GM Brett Veach, President Mark Donovan

The Chiefs have put together a leadership group that helped the team go to six straight AFC championship games, advance to the Super Bowl four times in five years, winning three of them, and become the first franchise to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the Patriots did so 20 years ago. As a result, Chiefs chairman and chief executive officer Clark Hunt announced today that head coach Andy Reid, general manager Brett Veach, and team president Mark Donovan have all received contract extensions.

The trio has been responsible for one of the biggest franchise transformations over the last couple of decades. While we do not have details on the length of Donovan’s extension, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports Reid’s contract now runs through the 2029 season and that Veach will also be under contract through the rest of the 2020s. The Chiefs will embark on their threepeat quest soon, and they will have their top decision-makers locked down before the draft.

Kansas City had just finished last in the AFC West for the fourth time in five years when Reid and Veach arrived in 2013. Since their arrival, the team has missed the playoffs just once. This marks Veach’s second extension and Reid’s third with the Chiefs, who last extended their top two power brokers in 2020. Plenty has changed since.

Donovan has been with the team the longest of the three, being with the franchise since 2009. The longtime Chiefs president joins Veach in being an ex-Eagles staffer during Reid’s Philly tenure. Donovan served as senior vice president/operations for the Eagles, holding that role until coming to Kansas City. Two years after Donovan’s arrival for the Chiefs’ CEO gig, he earned his current role. After rolling through head coaches Herm Edwards, Todd Haley, and Romeo Crennel, Donovan played a role in reaching out to a familiar face.

Reid settled with the Chiefs on a five-year contract. In Philadelphia, Reid had made the playoffs in nine of 14 seasons, lost four NFC championship games, and Super Bowl XXXIX. In Kansas City, Reid has been even more efficient. The Chiefs are 10-for-11 in playoff berths under the all-time great. Reid’s team has won the AFC West in each of the past eight years, running the franchise’s Super Bowl championship count from one to four.

Donovan not only stole Reid back in 2012, but he also brought in a 35-year-old scout in Veach. The latter landed his first NFL job as a coaching intern for the Eagles in 2004. After Veach rose to the scouting level in 2010, Donovan and Reid lured him from Philadelphia with the position of pro and college personnel analyst. After two years in that role, Veach spent another two years as co-director of player personnel before officially earning his current job title of general manager in 2017.

Veach’s input has obviously been valuable over the years, as the team drafted the likes of Eric Fisher and Travis Kelce in his first year in Kansas City — during John Dorsey‘s GM tenure. In the two years before Veach was promoted to his current role, he contributed to a personnel department that drafted players like Marcus Peters, Chris Jones, and Tyreek Hill.

While Dorsey made the most important draft choice in Chiefs history by selecting Patrick Mahomes 10th overall in 2017, Veach has been widely credited as beginning the push for the future superstar. The Chiefs’ trajectory certainly changed as a result of the Mahomes investment, and the team booted Dorsey for Veach ahead of the 2017 season. Since then, Veach has overseen a personnel department that drafted L’Jarius Sneed, Creed Humphrey, Trent McDuffie, Isiah Pacheco, Rashee Rice, and several other contributors.

Aside from his draft hits, Veach has made a name for being unafraid to trade off top assets like Peters, Hill, and Sneed for draft compensation. He also has made a number of deft moves over the years in free agency, bringing in players like Joe Thuney and Jawaan Taylor in recent years and Marquise Brown this year.

Reid is the second-longest-tenured HC in Chiefs history, passing Marty Schottenheimer in longevity in 2023. Residing only behind Hall of Famer Hank Stram, Reid cinched up his Hall of Fame resume in Kansas City. Sitting fourth on the all-time wins list, Reid has shot down retirement rumors in each of the past two offseasons. His enduring commitment to the Chiefs has changed the franchise, with the Mahomes years quickly leading to an AFC power shift. Veach gave Reid and Mahomes a strong defensive safety net last season, and the Chiefs will almost definitely enter the 2024 season as Super Bowl favorites.

Colts Extend DT DeForest Buckner

APRIL 17: The Colts are guaranteeing nearly this entire pact, which reminds of the structure the Texans authorized for Danielle Hunter. Of Buckner’s $46MM, $43.25MM is guaranteed at signing. Both Buckner’s 2024 and ’25 base salaries ($2.25MM, $13MM) are fully guaranteed, per OverTheCap.

This profiles as a great deal for Buckner, with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio indicating $10MM of his $13MM 2026 base salary shifts from an injury guarantee to a full guarantee in 2025. This would bump the practical guarantee in this through-2026 deal to $53.25MM. Indy used two void years for bonus proration purposes. The extension dropped Buckner’s 2024 cap number to $8.35MM, saving more than $14MM. Even with the void years, Buckner’s cap number spikes to $26.6MM in 2025.

APRIL 15: DeForest Buckner has become the latest defensive tackle to benefit from the position’s surging market. The three-time Pro Bowler agreed to a two-year, $46MM extension on Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The deal is now official, per a team announcement.

The past two offseasons has seen a number of defensive tackle contributors land lucrative new deals, especially ascending players at the position securing second contracts. That does not apply in Buckner’s case, but the 30-year-old has been as advertised during his time in Indianapolis. In four years since Buckner was acquired via trade, he has racked up 32.5 sacks and (in the 2020 campaign) his lone career first-team All-Pro nod.

One year remained on the former 49er’s existing deal – a four-year, $84 pact signed upon arrival in Indianapolis – and he was set to carry a 2024 cap hit of $22.75MM. Schefter’s colleague Stephen Holder notes that figure could change with Buckner now on the books through 2026, but he adds the Colts rarely elect to backload extensions such as this one. In any case, he will carry a similar cost for the next two seasons ($23MM AAV) compared to his current pact.

Buckner has missed just one game during his Colts run, and he has remained a consistent producer during his time with the team. He has made between 58 and 81 tackles each season with Indianapolis, with the latter figure (posted in 2023) representing a career high. The former first-rounder has added between 21 and 26 QB hits each year in that span, and he will be expected to remain a top producer on the Colts’ defense for the intermediate future with this new deal now in hand.

Indianapolis has been busy this offseason with respect to retaining key players on both sides of the ball. That has included new deals for the likes of cornerback Kenny Moore and safety Julian Blackmon, along with an extension for linebacker Zaire Franklin. On offense, wideout Michael Pittman Jr. saw his time attached to a franchise tag come to an end once a three-year, $70MM deal was worked out.

Along the defensive line, the Colts have also elected to return much of the core which was in place last year. Grover Stewart and Tyquan Lewis each signed new deals in March, and the former is on the books for the next three years while the latter is in place for the next two. Stewart in particular has been a key figure in the Colts’ defensive interior, serving as a full-time starter for each of the past five years. His partnership alongside Buckner is now set to continue beyond 2024.

Buckner entered Monday ranked 11th in the league in terms of annual average compensation amongst defensive tackles. Seeing a slight bump in that regard will move him back into the top 10 with this pact, one which ensures he will remain a focal point of Indianapolis’ front seven for at least the next few years.

Eagles, DeVonta Smith Agree To Extension

A recent report indicated the Eagles were nearing an agreement with DeVonta Smith, and the parties have indeed worked out an extension. The fourth-year receiver has a lucrative second contract in place.

Smith has landed a three-year, $75MM extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. He adds that the pact – which the team has since announced – includes $51MM guaranteed. Smith will now be under contract through 2028 as a result of this agreement, the first agreed to with a former first-rounder still under team control for two more years.

This deal includes $38.1MM guaranteed at signing, with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio indicating the Eagles are giving Smith a $20.4MM signing bonus and guaranteeing his 2024 and ’25 base salaries ($1.1MM, $1.2MM). A 2025 option bonus worth $11.4MM represents the other chunk of the at-signing sum. The Eagles are also sweetening the pot via a year-out guarantee for 2026. Smith’s 2026 base ($13.3MM) becomes fully guaranteed in March 2025, per Florio, giving the slender wideout a practical guarantee of $51.4MM.

The 25-year-old’s fifth-year option (valued at $15.59MM) has been exercised, Rapoport notes. That comes as no surprise, but the fact that decision would have left the Eagles with plenty of time to negotiate meant the team did not face much urgency with respect to hammering out an agreement. In spite of that, optimism was high as of last week that a pact could be worked out in short order. That has proven to be the case, and a key member of Philadelphia’s offense is now on the books for the foreseeable future.

The Eagles, of course, have a number of lucrative deals already in place on offense. That group (which features the likes of quarterback Jalen Hurts, guard Landon Dickerson and left tackle Jordan Mailata) also includes wideout A.J. Brown. The latter has operated as Philadelphia’s No. 1 wideout since his arrival, which was accompanied by a four-year, $100MM deal. Smith’s extension carries an identical annual average value – and, when factoring in the fifth-year option, he is in line to receive just over $90MM from 2025-28.

While Smith has not matched Brown’s production to date, the former Heisman winner has been a key cog in the Eagles’ passing attack. He also profiles as one of the ascending receivers due to land massive extensions in the immediate future, and Philadelphia has gotten ahead of teams like the Vikings (Justin Jefferson), Cowboys (CeeDee Lamb), Bengals (Tee Higgins) and 49ers (Brandon Aiyuk) in working out the next big-money deal at the position. For now, Smith will move into a tie for fourth in the league in terms of AAV amongst receivers. Each of the other four pass-catchers are due new deals soon, though, and they could surpass that figure as the cap continues to rise.

Smith had a strong season as a rookie, recording 916 yards and five touchdowns. Brown’s arrival did not lead to a drop-off in production for the Alabama product; rather, Smith has taken a step forward with 95- and 81-catch campaigns over the past two years. He has posted over 1,000 yards in both cases, scoring seven touchdowns each time. After facing concerns about his frame entering the league, Smith has missed just one game to date.

The 2024 season will see Kellen Moore take over as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator. Philadelphia’s offense took a step back during the team’s late-season collapse, and a rebound in efficiency would help avoid a repeat of those struggles. Smith will be a central figure in that effort, and his ability to remain a productive complement to Brown will go a long way in determining the effectiveness of this lucrative commitment.

Patriots, S Kyle Dugger Agree To Deal

APRIL 11: Dugger’s new pact is guaranteed in full for its first two years; he will collect $29.75MM over that span, as detailed by the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin (the additional $2.75MM guaranteed, set to paid out in Year 3, is conditional). The contract includes an $18MM signing bonus along with per-game roster bonuses worth up to $5MM. Dugger’s cap hit will sit at $7.5MM in 2024 before rising to $11MM the following season, then $12.5MM and $13.5MM.

APRIL 7: Patriots safety Kyle Dugger is no longer on the transition tag. Per Mike Garafolo and Eric Edholm of NFL Media, player and team are in agreement on a four-year contract, which NFL Media colleague Ian Rapoport says has a base value of $58MM (including $32.5MM in guaranteed money). The maximum value, according to Rapoport, is $66MM.

This offseason, New England made it a point to retain its homegrown talent, re-signing players like Michael Onwenu, Anfernee Jennings, and Josh Uche. At one time, Dugger seemed the likeliest of that group to remain in Foxborough on a long-term basis, with the Patriots submitting a $13MM/year offer to the Lenoir-Rhyne product shortly before the deadline to apply the franchise or transition tag. The two sides were unable to come to terms prior to that deadline, which compelled the Pats to deploy the transition tag, but it ultimately did not take too long for an agreement to be consummated.

Per the rules of the transition tag, if Dugger had signed an offer sheet with another team and New England declined to match the offer sheet, the Patriots would have received no draft pick compensation. Fortunately for them, no outside club extended an offer, as Dan Duggan of The Athletic confirms. As such, all the Pats needed to do was bump the average annual value of Dugger’s new contract ($14.5MM) slightly above the $13.8MM transition tag value to get a deal done.

In terms of both AAV and total guarantees, Dugger now ranks fifth in the league’s safety hierarchy (excluding Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr., who remains on the franchise tag as of the time of this writing). That underscores his importance to New England’s defense, a unit that finished in the top-10 in total yardage and defensive DVOA in 2023.

Now 28, Dugger has been a full-time starter for most of his four-year career, racking up nine interceptions (including two pick-sixes) and 20 passes defensed along the way. He has not yet earned any Pro Bowl acclaim, and his Pro Football Focus evaluation in 2023 was less than ideal; PFF assigned him an abysmal 50.0 coverage grade and considered him the 68th-best safety out of 95 qualified players.

While it is true that Dugger is more suited to play near the line of scrimmage — he eclipsed 100 tackles for the first time in his career last season — he did yield a fairly modest 82.7 QB rating on passes thrown in his direction in 2023, and his PFF evaluation was much more favorable in 2022, when the advanced metrics placed him as the 11th-best safety among 88 qualifiers.

Regardless of what PFF might say, the Patriots clearly consider Dugger to be a foundational player and value his versatility (in addition to lining up in the box and at free safety, he has also seen action as a slot and boundary corner, on special teams, and even on the D-line). His new contract will keep him under club control into the Pats’ next competitive window.

Jaguars, Josh Allen Agree To Extension

12:37pm: The Burns contract’s influence on the Allen deal extends to the fully guaranteed number as well. Allen secured $76.5MM locked in at signing, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes. That is $500K north of Burns’ number, slotting in at third among edge defenders. Like Burns’ deal, Allen’s also falls short of the $30MM-per-year-mark. In terms of base value, the Jaguars pass rusher is tied to a $28.25MM-AAV accord. Yes, that narrowly eclipses Burns’ true number ($28.2MM).

After fully guaranteeing Allen’s 2024 and ’25 base salaries, the Jags guaranteed $10.5MM of his 2026 base ($22MM) at signing. The remainder becomes fully guaranteed in March 2026. Allen’s 2027 and ’28 base salaries ($23.75MM, $24.5MM) are nonguaranteed.

8:04am: This year’s July franchise tag extension deadline may not produce much in the way of fireworks. Teams are making deals early. The Jaguars are the latest, reaching an extension agreement with Josh Allen, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports.

After a big contract year, the 2019 first-round pick will cash in on a five-year extension worth $150MM, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. The veteran edge defender will receive $88MM guaranteed. This will move Allen’s $24MM franchise tag off Jacksonville’s books, replacing it with a through-2028 contract.

Allen, who had gone through a three-year dry spell without a 10-plus-sack season, surged for a Jaguars-record 17.5 sacks in 2023. That was not enough to lift Jacksonville back to the playoffs. But it is enough to make him the NFL’s second $30MM-per-year edge rusher. Allen’s $30MM-AAV contract checks in behind only Nick Bosa‘s $34MM-per-year pact at the position. This contract doubles as a Jaguars franchise record.

The Giants’ Brian Burns extension looks to have played a key role in the Allen negotiations moving across the goal line. Upon trading for the five-year Panthers pass rusher, the Giants gave him a five-year, $141MM deal with $87.5MM guaranteed. (While Burns’ deal was initially reported to be worth $150MM, incentives cover $9MM in the accord.) Allen, who went off the board nine picks earlier than Burns in 2019, will come in just north of those marks to split the difference between Bosa and the field.

In terms of total guarantees — the full guarantees, always the more important number, are not yet known — Allen’s deal comes in behind only Bosa and Myles Garrett among edge players.

Allen’s extension marks the sixth given to a franchise-tagged player this year, and it comes three days after the Patriots became the first team in over a decade to extend a transition-tagged player (Kyle Dugger). Of the nine players who received a tag in March, seven are now extended. Only Tee Higgins and Antoine Winfield Jr. remain tagged.

Teams had inquired about Allen at the 2022 trade deadline, but the Jaguars held onto the Kentucky alum despite unremarkable numbers. Allen produced 7.5 sacks on just 14 QB hits in 2021, and while his number of QB hits ballooned to 22 in 2022, the sack count closed at seven. Last season, Allen erupted for 33 hits. His 17.5 sacks broke Calais Campbell‘s single-season Jags record (14.5) set in 2017. Allen’s 46 QB pressured ranked fourth in 2023. This was not enough to save DC Mike Caldwell‘s job, but as the Jags make changes up front, they prioritized Allen — so much so it meant losing Calvin Ridley to the Titans.

GM Trent Baalke said after the season the Jags viewed Allen as their top priority, and the tag ensured he would not reach the market. This is standard practice with high-end young edge rushers, and it made sense on multiple fronts for the Jags to tag Allen (27 in July) over the 29-year-old Ridley. The trade terms with the Falcons — mandating the Jags lose their second-round 2024 pick if they extended Ridley — made it difficult for the Jags to reach a contract agreement with Ridley before the new league year started. The Jags still tried to re-sign the 2022 trade acquisition, but the Titans ended up blowing both their AFC South rivals and the Patriots out of the water. While Ridley is gone, Allen is now locked in long term.

The Jags have used the tag in each year in the 2020s; Allen marks the third player extended, following Cam Robinson and Evan Engram. Jacksonville used the tag on Yannick Ngakoue in 2020, but the situation simmered to the point a late-summer trade (with the Vikings) came about. No real drama surfaced here, with Allen agreeing to terms more than three months before the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions. Baalke has now hammered out three deals for franchise tag recipients as GM, despite not being with the Jags when any of those players were drafted.

Allen’s deal aligns with Travon Walker‘s rookie contract, to a degree, with the 2022 No. 1 overall pick signed through 2025. He can be kept through 2026 via the fifth-year option, though the Georgia alum — chosen over Aidan Hutchinson — has not shown just yet that will be an easy decision for the Jags. This Allen contract, however, will most likely be paired with a monster Trevor Lawrence extension. The Jags have begun negotiations with their quarterback on what promises to be the top contract in franchise history, and although the former No. 1 pick could be kept on his rookie contract until 2025 via the option, teams generally extend QBs after Year 3.

Big deals for Allen and Lawrence on the payroll will bring mark a new roster-building phase for the Jaguars. With Allen agreeing to a landmark extension, part one of that blueprint is complete.

Panthers, Derrick Brown Agree To Extension

Ascending defensive tackles around the league continue to receive monster second contracts. The Panthers have worked out a four-year, $96MM extension with Derrick Brown, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The team has announced the move.

Schefter adds this deal includes just over $63MM in guaranteed money, which is in line with many other DT mega-deals worked out over the past two offseasons. Brown was set to play out the final season of his rookie contract in 2024 via the fifth-year option (valued at $11.66MM). He will secure a major raise up front while being on the books through 2028 as a result of this pact.

The contract includes $41.2MM fully guaranteed, SI.com’s Albert Breer tweets. While the total guarantee number ranks sixth among D-tackles, the full guarantee sits ninth. However, Breer adds $49MM comes Brown’s way over the extension’s first two years, with more than $13MM of his 2026 salary shifting to a full guarantee by 2025.

Talks on a Brown extension have been underway for some time now, so it comes as little surprise an agreement has been reached. Carolina had the option of waiting several months to hammer out a deal with the former No. 7 pick under contract for 2024, but the DT market has continued to surge. Especially with edge rusher Brian Burns no longer in place, the team had the funds available to make a steep investment such as this one.

Brown will now match Quinnen Williams in terms of AAV ($24MM) on this pact. That figure ranks fourth in the league amongst active players, and each of the three ahead of them on the list – Chris Jones, Christian Wilkins, Justin Madubuike – inked new deals this offseason. Brown will remain a central figure in the Panthers’ defense for years to come while joining the league’s highest-paid producers at the position.

The soon-to-be 26-year-old earned his first career Pro Bowl nod in 2024. Brown broke the NFL’s all-time record for tackles by a defensive lineman (103), bringing his career total in that respect to 245. He has added eight sacks in that span while serving as a full-time starter and remaining durable (one missed game, in 2021). Carolina made it clear Brown was untouchable during negotiations with the Bears over the blockbuster trade involving last year’s No. 1 pick. The Panthers ultimately agreed to move on from wideout D.J. Moore to help finalize that deal.

Since then, general manager Scott Fitterer has been fired. His internal replacement, Dan Morgan, has nevertheless carried on with making Brown a top priority. Keeping the Auburn product in the fold beyond his rookie pact would have become a challenge if the team had met Burns’ asking price, something which appeared to be increasingly unlikely to happen through the 2023 season. After turning down major trade interest in recent years, Carolina shipped Burns to the Giants and cleared the way for Brown to become the financial core of the Panthers’ defense.

Without the likes of Burns, Frankie Luvu or Jeremy Chinn in place anymore, questions have been raised about Carolina’s prospects on that side of the ball in 2024 and beyond. Brown will nonetheless be counted on to continue his production from the past two seasons in particular as a foundational member of the team’s core. His ability to do so will play a vital role in Carolina’s development over the coming years.

Eagles To Extend LT Jordan Mailata

The Howie Roseman-era Eagles have been known to act early on offensive line contracts. This offseason has brought more work in that direction. After a record-setting Landon Dickerson extension, the team has an agreement in place with Jordan Mailata.

Already signed to an extension, Mailata now has a more lucrative deal coming his way. The Eagles are giving their veteran left tackle a three-year, $66MM deal, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reports. Mailata’s new contract will include $48MM guaranteed. This continues one of the NFL’s more remarkable success stories, as Mailata is a former seventh-round pick who transitioned from rugby.

This provides a nice raise for Mailata, who was tied to a four-year, $64MM extension signed back in 2021. This new pact places Mailata in the top five among earners at his position. In terms of AAV, only Laremy Tunsil, Andrew Thomas and Trent Williams surpass this contract. Considering the Eagles have Dickerson at a now-guard-record $21MM per year, this marks a tremendous commitment on a line that still houses stalwart right tackle Lane Johnson.

The Eagles extended Dickerson early in his first year of eligibility, but Mailata had two seasons left on his previous contract. That deal no longer included any guarantees, and the Eagles have seen Mailata become a high-level left tackle since giving him the blindside job. Pro Football Focus graded Mailata as the No. 3 overall tackle last season, viewing his pass- and run-blocking numbers as among the best. Over the past three years, Mailata has landed in the advanced metrics site’s top 10 at the position.

In each of the past two seasons, ESPN’s run block win rate metric has ranked Mailata second. Last year, the Eagles’ tackles ranked first and second in this area. Although Jason Kelce‘s retirement brings a new challenge for the Eagles, their offensive line will present Saquon Barkley with a wildly improved setup compared to the lines he ran behind as a Giant. The Eagles are paying up for it as well and doing so despite having Jalen Hurts in the $50MM-AAV club.

Mailata’s ascent doubles as one of the most unlikely in NFL history. The Eagles took a flier on the 6-foot-8 Australian in the 2018 seventh round, and the rugby convert sat for two full seasons developing behind Jason Peters. While the team traded up to make Andre Dillard their Jason Peters heir apparent in the 2019 first round, Mailata instead proved readier for the gig. The 365-pound tackle did not play in 2018 or ’19, spending the latter season on IR. When Peters went down early during the 2020 season, Mailata stepped in and began his climb to this point. The Eagles turned Dillard into a swing tackle and let him walk in 2023.

Despite being in the NFL for six seasons, Mailata only turned 27 last month. The ascending tackle should have a chunk of his prime remaining on this third contract. The Eagles now have three blockers tied to $20MM-AAV deals, representing new territory for O-line investments. Johnson remains attached to a $20MM-per-year extension he agreed to in 2023. The Eagles are proponents of void years, using four on Mailata’s previous deal. It would seem likely, given the team’s expenses on an offense that also includes upper-crust deals for A.J. Brown and Dallas Goedert — that more voids are present in this contract.

Having seen the likes of Peters, Kelce, Isaac Seumalo and Brandon Brooks depart, the Eagles have successfully reloaded. While Johnson remains the senior presence up front, the Eagles finding Mailata and Dickerson has been integral to their Hurts-era success. Beyond Johnson, Mailata is the Eagles’ oldest O-line starter.