There's arguably no other player that made a bigger leap in 2020 than Josh Allen. Prior to last season, the Bills quarterback was looked at as a former first-rounder with raw ability but played with relative inconsistency. This past year, however, Allen flipped a switch and turned himself into a legit MVP candidate essentially overnight. Now, there are no questions surrounding where Buffalo stands at quarterback and the Bills are poised to be a legit threat in the AFC for years to come.
While Allen's rise to superstardom is a welcome sight for the Bills brass, they also know it's an expensive development. The former No. 7 overall pick in 2018 is set to enter the fourth year of his rookie contract, which is typically a time where many up-and-coming quarterbacks ink massive extensions. Given the dip in the salary cap this offseason, things may be a bit more difficult for Buffalo to pull off in terms of shelling out a megadeal to Allen, but GM Brandon Beane appears to be looking to get it done as soon as possible.
"It helps you for your planning the sooner you can get that contract done," Beane told NFL Media's Jim Trotter and Steve Wyche on the Huddle & Flow podcast, via NFL.com. "Again, I hope that we can get him done, if not this year, next year. You don't want to get into the franchise (tag) and all that stuff. It's a tool that you use if you have to to keep a great player, but at the end of the day, we want Josh here for the long term. We want him to be happy, and obviously, we want it to be a deal where we can still put talented players around him because Josh is a competitor. He's not wired for us just to pay him, then not be able to put stuff around him. So we'll try and find that deal that works for him and works for us."
Allen is still under team control through the 2022 season when accounting for his fifth-year option. Of course, the team could also keep him in Buffalo beyond that by placing the franchise tag on him in 2023, but it appears Beane is looking to lock Allen in much sooner than that circumstance ever coming into play. According to Spotrac's market value projections, Allen could be looking at an extension that pays him $42.1 million annually. That would make him the second highest-paid quarterback in the league only looking up to Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.
Not only did Allen enjoy personal success in 2020, but Buffalo was able to win the AFC East for the first time since 1995 and reached the AFC Championship Game. If the Bills continue on that ascent and begin contending for Super Bowls on a yearly basis, Allen will be worth every penny.