October 28th, 2011. That is the last time the Buffalo Bills believed they had a franchise quarterback on their roster. A blazing start to the year was enough to convince Buddy Nix and the Bills brass that Ryan Fitzpatrick was worthy of a 6-year $59 million contract extension. Ten years later, the Buffalo Bills are once again gearing up to put pen to paper with a player whom they believe to be their long-awaited franchise quarterback. They might have more luck with time around, as Josh Allen is coming off of a franchise record-breaking season, one that saw him finish second in league MVP voting.
Two weeks ago, Brandon Beane indicated that Allen would have to wait until the summer to get his extension, as he wants to let the dust settle on the NFL Draft and the summer free-agent market. Regardless, a massive payday for Josh Allen is coming, and with plenty of time to consider what it might look like, plenty of NFL experts have tried their hand at predicting. One of the most reliable (and historically accurate) salary cap resources for sports fans has been Spotrac. This week, they took a look at Josh Allen and what his contract extension may look like in just a few months from now. While I am giving you the highlights from the article, the full article is linked here for those of you who want a more in-depth analysis and breakdown of the numbers listed below.
Spotrac predicts that Allen’s extension will be in the ballpark of 4 years, $168 million. A contract that size would be second only to Patrick Mahomes’ insane 10-year $450 million deal. Four years seems to be a trend lately with both Deshawn Watson and Dak Prescott recently taking 4-year deals. Personally, I would like to see more term on Allen’s new contract, possibly in the 6-year range. While that would push the total value north of $200 million, it would lock Allen and the Bills together for nearly all of this decade. Spotrac also predicts that $78 million of the deal will be guaranteed money.
Annual Cap Hit
Spotrac predicts that Allen’s cap hit would be structured as follows:
|Year||Cap Hit (millions)|
Those are eye-popping numbers for a team and fanbase that has rarely spent over $10 million a year on the quarterback position. The Buffalo Bills finally have a franchise quarterback on their roster, and the benefits obviously outweigh the cap hits, but it puts the Bills in a position that they have never been in before. That is precisely why the Bills have seen their “championship window” as the time they are currently living in–the past few years and the next two years, while Allen is still on his rookie deal, or very early on in his extension. That is not to say that the Bills won’t win a Super Bowl once Allen is bringing in $30-40 million a year, but the ability to take on contracts like Stefon Diggs and extend the players that we have seen the Bills extend this year is something that the Bills can do now while Allen’s cap hit is at a minimum compared to what it will be in about two years.
Allen’s Place in History
The Buffalo Bills are on the cusp of signing their franchise quarterback to a deal that will go down as one of the richest in NFL history. While it will not top the contract for Patrick Mahomes, the contract that Spotrac predicts for Allen would hold these impressive places in history:
– Second largest contract in NFL history ($168 M, second to Mahomes’ $450)
– Second highest new money average ($42 M, second to Mahomes’ $45 M)
– $78 million in guaranteed money would be the 4th biggest of all-time
Should the Bills do it?
While you would be hard-pressed to find a Bills fan who wouldn’t be interested in re-signing Allen, the terms of the contract will be a point of discussion, and possible debate, for Bills fans. I am a proponent of waiting for this deal. Personally, I would make Allen show that he can repeat his performance for a second year in a row before shelling out the 2nd highest contract in NFL history. Allen’s growth has been exponential in his three years as the Bills starter, but considering the rawness of where he started, I would want to be extra sure that did not regress before handing out the kind of money that Spotrac predicts him to get. Our co-founder Rico discussed this last night on The Rico Report. He starts his Allen discussion at the 25-minute mark; give it a listen and start the conversation yourself.
What do you think Bills fans? Am I off the mark by asking Allen to do it again this year before getting paid? Am I throwing too much shade on our guy? Let me know in the comments and join in on the discussion.