September 16, 2021

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Beyond law

Bills, Josh Allen agree to table contract talks until 2022 if sides can’t agree on new deal by Week 1

Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield are among the top quarterbacks from the 2018 NFL Draft that remain in search of a new contract. The quarterbacks all saw their fifth-year options picked up earlier this offseason, but each players’ front office has alluded to a possible extension before the start of the 2021 season. Despite those rumblings, each player would continue playing under their rookie contracts if the season started today. 

As it relates to Allen, Bills general manager Brandon Beane said on Monday that both sides have agreed to halt contract talks if they have not come to terms on an agreement before Buffalo opens the season. The Bills’ three-game preseason will start with a game at Detroit on Aug. 13. Beane said that he and his quarterback are “in lockstep” as far as negotiations are concerned. 

“We’re in August, so I’d say we’re down to a few weeks to either get this done or delay it, and try it again in 2022,” Beane said, via ESPN. “Hopefully, we can get something done this year. But if not, we’ll be excited. Josh knows. He and I have had great conversations this spring and summer about it.”

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Bills coach Sean McDermott recently expressed optimism when asked about a possible new contract for his quarterback. McDermott echoed Beane’s previous sentiments that Allen could possibly receive a new deal before the Bills kick things off against the Steelers in Week 1. 

“Brandon mentioned [a new contract], I think at the end of the spring practice period there, and these things handle themselves,” McDermott said, via NFL.com’s Nick Shook. “They work themselves out when you got two parties that want to be together and have the same end goal in mind. Josh is a great, young talent and he fits so well with Buffalo and the city and the town and the people of Buffalo. So, I firmly believe it’s gonna work itself out.”

While he could certainly put up another banner season in 2021, Allen has good reason to seek a new contract now following what was a breakout 2020 campaign. After helping the Bills clinch a playoff berth in 2019, Allen earned his first Pro Bowl nod last year after scoring 45 total touchdowns. Allen’s play helped Buffalo reach its first AFC Championship Game since 1993. 

Allen’s market value is estimated at $168.6 million over four years, according to Spotrac. And while he may receive his market value, Allen would reportedly be willing to work with Buffalo on his extension in order to help the Bills strengthen a roster that won 15 games (including the postseason) in 2020, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. 

While Allen has good reason to pursue a new deal now, another strong season would only strengthen his market value in 2022. Allen may also be willing to play the waiting game — seeing what Mayfield and Jackson receive from their respective teams — before advancing his own contract negotiations.