Keenan Allen dishes on potential contract extension with Bears

Keenan Allen dishes on potential contract extension with Bears originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Keenan Allen might have to play out the rest of his one-year deal with the Bears before signing a new deal, and he says he’s ok with that.

When the Bears traded away a fourth-round pick to acquire Allen earlier this year the understanding was that he wouldn’t be in Chicago for a long haul. After all, he turned 32 years old in April, so he can’t be counted on to catch passes for the duration of Caleb Williams’ career in Chicago. But the expectation was that he’d stick around for more than the one year that’s remaining on his contract.

However, unlike Montez Sweat who received a contract extension shortly after joining the Bears, Allen might have to wait until next offseason until he gets his next deal. Some players don’t like taking the field and risking injury without the financial security of a multi-year deal, but Allen said he doesn’t have a problem with playing out the string of his current deal.

“The goal right now is to go out and do what I always do and just try to remain who I am,” Allen said.

Allen said he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll lace ‘em up, but wants to play as long as he can.

“As far as an extension, I’m going to let the play speak for itself, and if they offer me something that I like, we’ll go from there.”

One reason that some players don’t like to wait for a contract offer is that they take on the risk of an injury limiting their earning potential. Allen sees a benefit of waiting, though: other wide receivers continuing to reset the market.

Justin Jefferson signed a new four-year deal with the Vikings for a reported $140 million with $110 million guaranteed earlier this week. Amon-Ra St. Brown reportedly got a four-year $120 million extension with $77 million guaranteed from the Lions. A.J. Brown reportedly inked a three-year extension worth $96 million with $84 million guaranteed.

As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.

“The players are going to continue to get better,” Allen said. “They’re younger, bigger, stronger, faster, and they continue to raise the bar, so as long as they’re taking care of their job and vets like me, we just continue to do what we do and take the backseat and get paid as well.”

Allen has been able to get open throughout his career due to excellent route running and technique, not blazing speed, so there’s good reason to believe that he’ll be able to continue performing at a high level at his “advanced” age. On Wednesday, head coach Matt Eberflus called Allen “crafty” several times.

“It seems like he’s always open, even when I used to double cover him,” Eberflus said.
Over his 11 year NFL career, Allen has caught 904 passes for 10,530 yards and 59 touchdowns. He hasn’t shown signs of slowing down, either. Last season was one of his best with 108 catches for 1,243 yards and seven scores in just 13 games.

Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.