Jaguars place franchise tag on edge rusher Josh Allen, seek long-term deal

The Jacksonville Jaguars placed their franchise tag on edge rusher Josh Allen ahead of Tuesday's deadline to do so.

The Jaguars announced the decision alongside a statement from general manager Trent Baalke on the state of long-term negotiations with Allen. The two sides will continue to negotiate a potential long-term contract.

"We were not able to reach an agreement on a contract extension with Josh before today's deadline," Baalke's statement reads. ... "Our objective to keep Josh in Jacksonville in the coming years remains unchanged and negotiations will continue."

Without a long-term deal, Allen would be due $24 million under the franchise tag designated as a linebacker.

The Jaguars selected Allen with the No. 7 pick in the 2019 draft. He played his first four seasons on a four-year, $22.7 million contract then played last season on a $10.9 million team option. Allen made the Pro Bowl as a rookie with 10.5 sacks, then was limited in his second season with a knee injury. He tallied 7.5 and seven sacks in the two ensuing seasons, then exploded for a career-best 17.5 sacks and 33 quarterback hits last season as one of the league's premier pass rushers.

Josh Allen earned a big payday with a breakout 2023 campaign as one of the league's top pass rushers. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Josh Allen earned a big payday with a breakout 2023 campaign as one of the league's top pass rushers. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

His effort in 2023 earned him Pro Bowl honors for the second time in his career and a lucrative new deal whether on the franchise tag next season or via a long-term contract.

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How will Jaguars address other priorities?

Retaining Allen was Jacksonville's top priority in a high-stakes offseason coming off a late-season collapse from a 6-2 start that saw the Jags miss the playoffs. Pressure will be on Jacksonville to make the postseason next year, a task that projects as even harder in 2024 with the anticipated continued emergence of quarterback C.J. Stroud and the AFC South-rival Houston Texans.

With Allen on the franchise tag, the next priority for Jacksonville is negotiations with pending free agent wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who emerged as the team's No. 1 receiving option after arriving via trade from the Atlanta Falcons prior to last season. The Jaguars also have needs on the offensive and defensive lines and could look to upgrade at cornerback.

Securing Allen is a good first step. The Jaguars have considerably less cap room if he's on the books for $24 million. Spotrac projects Jacksonville's remaining cap space at $20.9 million if Allen plays on the franchise tag.