Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen deserves a mega-contract, equal to top-tier quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, and Dak Prescott, but he probably won’t get it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Since entering the league in 2018, Allen has shown a yearly improvement in almost every statistical category. His completion percentage has jumped over 16 points since his rookie season, and the rest of his statistics have followed. Allen threw 37 total touchdowns this past season, which was 27 more than his rookie season, and also passed for 2,470 more yards.
His statistical improvements translated into the Bills going 13-3 in the regular season and making a run to the AFC Championship before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs. It was the type of season that no one expected Allen to have as he set the league on fire in the first four weeks, throwing for 1,326 yards and 12 touchdowns, including a 415-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2.
Allen was putting up NFL MVP-level numbers, and his consistent improvement has showcased his ability and desire to become one of the best quarterbacks in the league. That type of performance can only be rewarded with one thing.
Heading into his fourth season, the Bills quarterback is set to get paid. But will he?
Over the course of his four years in the league, Allen has shared his desire to stay in Buffalo. Although he’ll want to get paid, he also understands the position the Bills are in financially.
In the past two years, Bills general manager Brandon Beane has put the pieces in place for the team’s future. Two years ago, he locked up left tackle Dion Dawkins and All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White to massive contracts worth a combined $130 million. Then, this offseason, Beane locked up linebacker Matt Milano, along with offensive linemen Daryl Williams and Jon Feliciano, to protect Allen for the long haul.
While Beane’s work prepared the Bills for the next few years, signing Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is the next hoop that the 2020 Executive of the Year will have to jump through.
To do it, though, Beane might need a little help.
In his first three years in the league, Edmunds has been one of the best middle linebackers in the league, and he’s still only 23 years old. He’s registered 115 tackles or more each year and has been a mainstay in the middle of the Bills defense. So, just like Allen, Edmunds is due for a payday. While Allen may be in store for the bigger contract, the former Wyoming Cowboy may be the one that’s more than willing to take a pay cut to keep his team together.
During Buffalo’s Week 9 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, Allen threw for 415 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another in a 44-34 win. Afterward, Allen revealed that he had lost his grandmother in the hours leading into the game but decided to play anyway. In the weeks after the game, Bills fans paid their respects to Allen by donating money to Buffalo’s Oishei Children’s Hospital in his grandmother’s name. The franchise quarterback was forever grateful, and he let Bills Mafia know it. He also made his future intentions known.
“My family is forever engraved here, myself included. I don’t ever want to leave,” Allen said, per ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques. “I want to play for as long as I can and give back to this community and Bills Mafia.”
Then, in the past month, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Allen would be willing to take a pay cut to keep the Bills competitive.
“As was told to me, look, he knows he’s going to get paid eventually, the Bills know he’s going to get paid eventually, so neither side is particularly worried about it,” said Fowler. “I’m told that Allen loves being in Buffalo enough where he’s willing to structure things, ya know, that helps the team a little bit. Certainly, he’s not going to take a discount by any stretch — he’s a top-five quarterback. But he wants them to stay competitive in future years with him in the fold.”
So while Allen rightfully deserves a major contract, he likely won’t get it because he wants to put his team in the best position to win a Super Bowl. It’s also something we’ve seen from an AFC East quarterback before.
During his time in Foxborough, Tom Brady took less money than what he was worth for years to give the New England Patriots the best chance to win championships. Although Allen isn’t in the same position as Brady once was as far years in the league, the Bills are in a position to win the Super Bowl and Allen taking a pay cut could only help their chances.