With the surprising news of the Kansas City Chiefs signing their star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, to a ten-year extension when Mahomes still had two years left on his current contract, the first thought that came to my mind was “How does this impact the Buffalo Bills and their quarterback Josh Allen?”
The Mahomes Contract
Before I start to answer that question, I want to review the contract that Mahomes signed. He has officially signed the largest contract in sports history! The three-year pro at twenty-four years of age has signed a massive $503 million-dollar extension that has $477 million guaranteed. It may be a large sum of money for a player that has only truly played two seasons, but he has been lights out and has proven to be not only an incredible talent but is likely one of the best players the NFL has ever seen and is already solidifying himself on a path to the NFL Hall of Fame.
With that said, I still think it’s simply too much to pay for a player that will not play at his current caliber in his mid to late thirties, and with this deal, the Kansas City Chiefs will be continuing to pay Mahomes roughly $50 million dollars per season when he is not at all the same player, assuming he is healthy enough to play into his mid-thirties. However, I am not here to discuss whether it was a smart decision for the Kansas City Chiefs. I want to determine how this is going to impact Josh Allen’s likely extension with the Buffalo Bills.
The Future of Josh Allen
I want to start by saying that Josh Allen is definitely not Patrick Mahomes and will likely never be in the same tier of quarterbacks that Mahomes currently sits in. However, Josh Allen has shown many observers a few key things that the Buffalo Bills organization will be taking into consideration if they decide to offer Allen an extension in the future. Firstly, Allen has already proven many analysts and fans wrong, proving that he can compete in the NFL and has been able to transition from a gunslinger and erratic passer in college into a productive quarterback in the NFL. Secondly, he has shown the ability to move forward and forget the past when he makes crucial mistakes.
Allen always seems to be able to pick himself and his teammates up, and that is a sign of a true leader and potential franchise player. Allen statistics have also continued to trend in the right direction, improving his rating from 67.9 in his rookie season to a stellar 85.3 rating in his second season, which shows that he is teachable. A key reason why the Bills current management team drafted Allen was for his raw talent, with the hopes that he could be trained to improve his accuracy and decision making. Statistics do not lie, and Allen has certainly improved his accuracy, increasing his completion percentage from 52.8% to a more respectable 58.8%.
Of course, there is still plenty of room for improvement, but he has improved nonetheless. A knock on Allen entering the NFL was also his poor decision making that often led to unforced interceptions. This is something that he has changed drastically, reducing his interceptions from 12 to 9, and it should be noted that he played four more games in his second season with the Buffalo Bills. Now that I have broken down some of the key improvements Allen has made, I want to discuss where I believe he is moving towards and what type of contract I expect him and the Bills to agree to.
Josh Allen’s Contract
I believe that its reasonable to see Allen taking another step forward in the 2020 NFL season. As a third-year pro with quality playing time under his belt, he is going to be able to understand defenses and should be able to read the field at a faster pace than in his previous two seasons. I think it’s worth noting that he has a significantly improved offense around him this season, which should allow him to propel to the next level and become a mid to upper-tier NFL quarterback. I think it’s realistic for Allen to throw for at least 3,500 yards given the caliber of receivers he has to throw to and should be able to manage 25-35 touchdown passes and maintain interceptions in the upper single digits to lower double digits, depending on how much Brian Daboll, the Bills offensive coordinator, asks Allen to throw.
I do, however, see Allen’s running statistics plateauing from last season or potentially even dropping, given the strong backfield entering the season, as well as coach Sean McDermott stressing the importance of preserving Allen’s body throughout the season. If Josh Allen is able to match the projections I have set, we should expect him to receive a contract extension that places his average salary per season somewhere in the top-10 quarterbacks. Granted, he may not even perform at the level of a top-10 quarterback, but with Mahomes signing such a lucrative deal, it naturally will increase all quarterback contracts moving forward. Therefore, I expect Josh Allen to earn an annual salary range between Ryan Tannehill’s $29.5 million. and Kirk Cousins $33 million. I understand that this is a high price to pay for a quarterback that is still fighting to prove himself as a true franchise player, but if he can continue his progression, there is no question that Allen has a high ceiling and could be well worth that type of salary.