It’s not a matter of if the Buffalo Bills are going to ink quarterback Josh Allen to a massive contract extension, but when. After a remarkable 2020 campaign that resulted in Allen finishing second in MVP voting, a new deal is on the horizon. But during a press conference prior to the team’s first training camp practice of 2021, general manager Brandon Beane told reporters that there hasn’t been any progress in talks between the Bills and Allen’s representatives, but it isn’t something that he’s too concerned about.
“We’re fine if it doesn’t get done this year,” Beane said regarding a possible contract extension with his star quarterback. “I’ve said that all along. Josh is in a great headspace. He and I have a great relationship. He’s ready to roll this season and he’s letting his representatives do their job. Like I said, if something happens, great. If it doesn’t, we’ll focus on the season and we’ll pick it up next year.
Buffalo exercised the fifth-year option on Allen’s contract following his stellar 2020 season in which he completed 69.2-percent of his passes for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns, while adding 421 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. The fifth-year option guarantees him a salary of $23.106 million for the 2022 season. Allen only counts $6.910 million against the Bills’ 2021 salary cap.
Due to Buffalo’s current cap situation, it makes sense that the team is looking at the 2022 offseason as a time to negotiate an extension. The team has just $9.8 million in cap space, which would make a deal as big as the one Allen will require difficult to maneuver. But Beane is optimistic and the lines of communication are open for when the time comes to lock in a contract.
“I don’t think there’s momentum,” Beane said. “It’s hard for me to really gauge it. There are deals I’ve thought weren’t gonna get done, but then something happens. You know, Matt Milano, I couldn’t have told you we were going to get Matt. But Matt was hell-bent on being here and we were going to do everything we could. Not that it has anything to do with Josh, but there’s while there’s no momentum, he and I have had great conversations back here and he’s focused. And if something were to get done, we’ll be excited, but we’ll just work hard next season.”
Head coach Sean McDermott has publicly expressed confidence that a deal will get done one way or another, and during his media availability on Wednesday, he echoed those sentiments.
“He’s got people that work for him and at the end of the day I trust Josh,” McDermott said. “He’s a good person and he’s off to a great start in his career. And I think I know what he wants, and I trust Brandon as well. So the two parties that are involved, I have a tremendous amount of belief and confidence in. So that’s why I just say those things will work themselves out, because of the people involved in it all.”
Josh Allen has reportedly stated that he’s willing to structure his deal in a way that helps the team remain competitive, and he isn’t really worried about negotiations stalling out, either. Buffalo is where he developed into one of the league’s elite passers and he’s close with his teammates on a roster that’s built to win.
Allen’s deal will undoubtedly put him among the highest-paid players in NFL history at an average salary of roughly $45 million per year. But whether he signs a massive 10-year deal like Patrick Mahomes, or a more conservative four-year deal like Dak Prescott’s remains unknown.
While a deal isn’t imminent, it’s promising to hear that both sides are confident a deal will get done and neither party seems to be in a rush to force one before the 2021 NFL season, either.