Jaguars pick up DE/OLB Josh Allen’s fifth-year option

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The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t even turned in the card for the No. 1 pick of the 2022 NFL Draft yet, but they are already looking toward the 2022 season in some way. The team announced that it would be picking up the fifth-year option of Josh Allen’s contract, which will extend his rookie contract from 2019.

Allen, 24, was selected seventh overall by the Jags in 2019 out of Kentucky. He was able to make an impact immediately as a rookie while playing in all 16 games and accumulating 10.5 sacks. That resulted in him making history and becoming the first Jags rookie to get into the Pro Bowl.

However, since his rookie season, he hasn’t been able to match his rookie sack number although he’s been an important part of the team. His 2020 season was cut short due to a knee injury, and he only played in eight games as a result. Then in 2021, he played in 16 games and was able to accumulate a career-high in tackles with 46.

For a team that has struggled like the Jags these last two seasons, keeping Allen was a no-brainer for general manager Trent Baalke. Allen is now set to make $11.5 million next season, which shouldn’t be an issue for the Jags to ingest because they are set to have over $43.7 million in available cap space, according to Over the Cap.

With the Jags potentially acquiring a prospect like Georgia’s Travon Walker or Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson Thursday, Allen could have some help in the trenches when it comes to rushing the passer. That could help him get back to where he was as a rookie, which is something the Jags likely considered when they picked up his option.