Doug Pederson on Josh Allen: ‘You want him to be a Jaguar forever’

Jacksonville Jaguars pass rusher Josh Allen is scheduled to be one of the biggest names on the free agency market in March. Doug Pederson doesn’t want to see that happen, though.

After Allen finished the 2023 season with a career-high 17.5 sacks, second most in the NFL, Pederson said he’s hopeful the team figures out a way to keep the outside linebacker in Jacksonville.

“If we can work it out, gosh, you’d love to keep him,” Pederson said Monday. “You want him to be a Jaguar forever, so these are all the tough decisions and conversations we’ve got to have in the coming weeks. He did his part and put himself in a good position to make it interesting and tough. I’m excited for the future, obviously, and hopefully we can get something done.”

It’d be shocking if the Jaguars couldn’t find a way to keep Allen. While negotiating a massive contract extension for the player will be tough, as his eventual deal will likely eclipse $100 million in total value, the franchise tag is an easy route to keep him for at least another year.

The tag would guarantee Allen about $22 million, a lofty price tag but more than worth it for a player who has become one of the NFL’s premier defensive players.

“I’ve always just focused on football and did my part,” Allen said Monday. “If I can do that then everything takes care of itself. The business is the business. We’ll have conversations down that road but at this very moment I’m really trying to get through this situation and grow from it.”

Allen, 26, played the 2023 season on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. Through five seasons, he has 45 career sacks, second most in franchise history behind Tony Brackens’ 55 sacks.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire