With free agency and all that comes with a new league year just days away, one question that should be on the minds of the Washington Football Team‘s coaching staff is the immediate future of defensive tackle Jonathan Allen. Allen (26) has been the vocal leader of this defense since his second pro season in 2018 and has worn the “C” on his jersey, signaling that he is, in fact, a team captain since that time as well.
Extend Jonathan Allen or Trade him?
After games, it’s never hard to find Allen, who is routinely the Washington player taking the blame for losses. He’s also the voice of that locker room amongst the players, and he leads by example and demands nothing but victory. In other words, this guy only cares about one thing, winning. That said, Allen is entering the last year of his current deal. Last season the team decided to pick up his fifth-year option and pay him just a shade over $10 million for the 2021 season. This means the team will have him next year, but it also means he’s a free agent in 2022.
Rest of the Defensive Line
With the defensive line emerging as the strength of the entire franchise over the course of the last three years, Allen now finds himself in awkward territory as all of his fellow defensive linemen are now also playing for future deals.
Daron Payne will likely have his fifth-year option picked up this year, and Tim Settle is entering the last year of his rookie deal (since Settle was a third-round pick, there is no option year available to pick up). The team would pay all of these guys in a perfect world, and these topics would end. But as we know, the salary cap doesn’t work that way, and at least one of these guys won’t be back in 2022. It’s a hard fact to deal with, but unless the team goes over the top to pay everyone and takes the loss of not being able to improve other areas of the team, it’s a choice they have to make. One critical area the team needs improvement in is the offensive side of the ball.
Take a moment and check out my video (below) on this topic.