Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, there was a spirited debate as to which quarterback would be the next star under center in the league.
Fans would make an argument for Baker Mayfield, who had the personality and experience playing in a prolific offense at the University of Oklahoma.
There was a faction of people who thought Sam Darnold would be the most successful of the group, having had a promising career at USC.
Some thought UCLA’s Josh Rosen would have the best NFL career as a prototypical drop-back passer.
Lamar Jackson also had some backers, but was always scheduled to be selected towards the end of round one, or at the beginning of round two.
Allen wowed scouts and teams during workouts with his rocket arm, but accuracy concerns lingered as franchises evaluated his skill set.
Despite those worries, and questions about the level of competition he faced while at the University of Wyoming, Allen went to the Bills with the seventh overall pick.
It’s fair to say the both sides are probably extremely happy with how things worked out, as Allen is leading the resurgence of a once proud fanbase in western New York.
— Lee Smith (@LeeSmith) December 20, 2020
Allen has a handsome payday coming to him in 2022, as the Bills picked up his fifth-year option for just over $23 million.
What would an extension look like for one of the emerging players in the NFL today?
Predicted Contract: 5 Year Extension, $166 Million Total Value, $130 Million Guaranteed
The Dak Prescott contract extension with likely be the benchmark for a lot of the quarterbacks who are due for a contract in the next year or so.
The Dallas Cowboys leader received $160 million over four years, with $126 million guaranteed.
While that’s a heavy price to pay anyone in a salary cap league like the NFL, the going rate for great quarterback play just keeps going up.
There’s no reason to think it won’t increase even higher when Buffalo negotiates a long-term deal with Allen.
The Bills have been absolutely starved for an answer at quarterback from the moment Jim Kelly retired way back in 1996.
While the Bills’ ineptitude at finding a suitable long-term answer shouldn’t necessarily factor into Allen’s next contract, there’s going to be a lot of pressure to keep the good times rolling in Buffalo.
There haven’t been a lot of them since the turn of the century.
Allen has had a supremely encouraging career trajectory so far, and would be one of the safer bets to continue his level of production even after getting paid.
He’s started every single regular season game in the last two years, showing a reliability that is not always seen with quarterbacks who scramble out of the pocket.
His yards per attempt, completion percentage, and touchdown to interception ratio took off in 2020, and should only get better as his chemistry with wide receiver Stefon Diggs improves in their second year together.
Unreal, Bills Mafia, Thank You! https://t.co/I3URxYAFKY
— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) December 16, 2019
Buffalo has the chance to lock Allen in for a long time, and give him the chance to be synonymous with one franchise.
They won’t take any chances that would put that dream scenario in jeopardy.