JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars exercised the fifth-year option in pass rusher Josh Allen’s rookie contract on Thursday.
The move keeps Allen under contract for two more seasons and fully guarantees his 2023 salary at $11.5 million. The former Kentucky standout and seventh overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft has 20 1/2 sacks in three years, including 10 1/2 as a rookie in 2019. He made the Pro Bowl as an alternate that season and looked like a budding star.
But he hasn’t been the same since, missing eight games in 2020 because of injuries and recording just two sacks over the final eight games last season. He did manage a career-high 50 quarterback pressures in 2021.
He was at his best against the NFL’s more prominent Josh Allen, Buffalo’s star quarterback, last November. Jacksonville’s version finished with eight tackles, including a sack, and had the first interception of his career. He also recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars are expected to give Allen some big-time help with the top pick in the draft later Thursday. General manager Trent Baalke and new coach Doug Pederson narrowed their choices to four guys for the No. 1 selection, with Georgia pass rusher Travon Walker being the betting favorite to have his name called first.
Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, North Carolina State left tackle Ikem “Ickey” Ekwonu and Alabama left tackle Evan Neal were the others in Jacksonville’s final group.
The Jags seemingly eliminated the need for an offensive tackle at No. 1 when they agreed to terms with veteran Cam Robinson on a three-year, $54 million deal Wednesday.
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