Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke told reporters Thursday that he wouldn’t reveal his offseason plans regarding which players could be released or re-signed. He made one exception, though.
“Josh [Allen] will be a Jaguar,” Baalke said.
Allen, 26, earned Pro Bowl honors for the second time in his career after recording 17.5 sacks in 2023, second most in the NFL. While the pass rusher is due to become a free agent in March, the team could also use the franchise tag to keep Allen in Jacksonville for at least another year.
However, using the tag could mean Allen hits free agency in 2025 and it may create a contentious situation that includes a lengthy holdout for the pass rusher. A lucrative extension would circumnavigate those issues, but Baalke said those talks haven’t started yet.
“Those negotiations will start,” Baalke said. “I know Josh wants to be here. I know we want him here. Can we come to a number that works for everybody? That’s the key and I respect that.
“You’ve got to respect guys that put themselves in this position. They work hard, they deserve to make good money. What that ‘good’ means to them could be different than what it means to us. We just got to come together, sit down at the table, and work things out.”
During the 2023 season, the Green Bay Packers gave Rashan Gary a four-year, $96 million extension and the Chicago Bears gave Montez Sweat a four-year, $98 million deal. Given Allen had a better year than both of those pass rushers, it’d be a surprise if the Jaguars’ outside linebacker was willing to take any deal that averages less than $25 million per year.
The franchise tag is projected to pay linebackers about $22 million in 2024.