It’s been a week since the Bills locked up their franchise quarterback with a 6 year $258 million contract extension. A contract extension this offseason was not a given for Allen. In the end Brandon Beane and Allen’s camp were able to meet their self-imposed September 1st deadline and get a deal done before the start of the season. Looking back, it is yet another win for one of the best general managers in the NFL.
I’ll be the first to admit that all off-season I was singing the tune of waiting for this deal for at least one more season. Nothing against Allen, but I wanted to see him replicate his success one more time before committing to him long term. As I have written about earlier this offseason, Brandon Beane has dug the team out of dead cap hell in recent years and with the teams salary cap situation finally a positive for the Bills, I was on the conservative side when it came to handing out a long-term deal. But in recent weeks, and especially after this deal was announced, I have changed my tune. Maybe it was my guest spot on Rico’s show last week, but I now firmly live in the “thank God this deal is done” camp.
In Before Mayfield and Jackson
The big plus to getting this deal done now is setting the market, so to speak, for other quarterbacks from n the 2018 draft class. As we know, NFL contracts are all about what have you done for me lately so here are the 2020 stats (regular season only) for Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, and Lamar Jackson:
|Wins||Passing Yards||Passing TD’s||INT’s||Rushing Yards||Rushing TD’s||Rating|
Josh Allen was miles ahead of Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson last year. Every rational football fan would admit that. Josh’s representation knows that, as well. So naturally, if Baker Mayfield signed first and brought in the type of money that Josh did in his deal, it would be expected that Allen would be paid more.
Despite being in pretty good cap shape, the Bills should still be in penny pinching mode after the key extensions in recent seasons of Dion Dawkins, Tre’Davious White and Josh Allen. In the coming years, Tremaine Edmunds and Stefon Diggs will be receiving new contracts, as well. Brandon Beane getting this deal in now for Allen, and setting the market, was huge. Later this season, or next offseason, whenever the Browns inevitably overpay give Baker more money than Allen’s deal you know that Beane will be smirking to himself while (probably) crafting an extension for Stefon Diggs.
No Distractions for Either Side
Sean McDermott has his team so mentally tough that I don’t think a lingering contract would have been too much of a distraction for the Allen and the Bills. But the truth is, there is no way to avoid a distraction of that magnitude in such an important season. The Bills have one goal in mind this year, and with finally hoisting a Lombardi in mind, the Bills are better off without questions about the long-term status of their franchise quarterback.
From Allen’s point of view, imagine how tense things could have gotten if he goes through a difficult stretch of games. Even for the most mentally tough player, I imagine it would be tough for Allen not to let some doubt creep in about his future with the organization. Without that added stress, any issues that Allen may have this season should not be compacted by questions about his immediate future with the organization. The Bills are committed to him and he is committed to the city of Buffalo and a stretch of bad games this year shouldn’t change that.
Most Important Player Since…?
When I was on with Rico last week he asked me the last time a player meant this much to the city of Buffalo. While my immediate answer is sure to upset Sabre fans, if I were to pick a Bills player I would have to first get my popcorn ready…and then second I would pick Terrell Owens. Back in March of 2009, the Bills needed to do something to recharge their fanbase. Signing one of the best WR’s in the game certainly did the job.
Owens instantly became a star in Buffalo with Mayor Byron Brown gave him a key to the city of Buffalo for doing literally nothing besides being Terrell Owens and signing a contract to play for the Bills. If he hasn’t yet, Owens should mail that key to Allen ASAP. Josh Allen has the “it factor”, plain and simple. Of all of Beane’s wins as Bills GM none are bigger than landing Allen in the 2018 Draft. I would argue that Josh Allen’s attitude and demeanor are just as important to this franchise as his play on the field. He gave what instantly became an all-time great quote after signing the deal, “I know that they didn’t pay me for what I’ve done. They did this ’cause they expect me to continue what I’m doing and expect me to go win this team some championships.”
Yeah, I’d say Josh gets it. Wouldn’t you? Luckily the Bills have a GM that gets it, too.