Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has become the second highest-paid player in NFL history after agreeing a new 6-year contract extension with the franchise.
Allen and the Bills put pen to paper on the new deal after considerable speculation over the end of season period about his long-term future. While it was never likely that Allen would have moved on from Buffalo, the terms of the deal he has signed are eye watering.
The deal is worth a potential $258 million over the six years and of that, $150 million is guaranteed. The most ever guaranteed in any contract signed by an NFL player, outstripping the $141.5 million guaranteed the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to pay Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes is the only player to be paid more per year ($45m compared to $43m) than Allen in NFL history, but the pressure is now on the Buffalo quarterback to start delivering the Bills the kind of success and production he showed last season on a regular basis.
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The announcement should put to an end the constant questioning that Allen and Bills GM Brandon Beane have faced over the off-season about a potential contract extension.
This after both parties had indicated a willingness to get a deal done this year, rather than wait until 2022.
Allen now becomes the highest paid player in Bills history and it is a reward for his swift upturn in performance after the Bills drafted him seventh in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Rise To The Top From Inauspicious Start
Allen’s story is an interesting one. As a youngster, he was only offered a scholarship by Wyoming when a coach from the university turned up to watch a junior college game to view one of Allen’s team mates.
Allen shone at Wyoming and was taken 7th in the draft in 2018, but there were plenty of people who felt that the Bills had over-reached for the young signal caller and who openly criticised the pick.
Those critics seemed to have a valid point as in his rookie season, Allen only managed a 52.8% completion rate and threw more interceptions (12) than he did touchdown passes (10).
However, both Allen and the Bills have reaped the reward in GM Beane’s belief in the player. Having built a team to allow Allen to shine, the young quarterback responded last year with a sensational campaign, earning runner-up honors in the NFL MVP race.
He threw for 4,544 passing yards, a 69.2% completion rate and 37 touchdown passes as the Bills became one of the most exciting teams in the NFL and a genuine challenger to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC.
And according to GM Beane, Allen could get even better.
“Josh is by no means a finished product; he’ll be the first one to tell you,” stated Beane after the contract extension was announced.
“But those things, and where’s he’s come from and where’s he’s at today, that gives you the confidence to ask to allow you to make this move.”
Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula clearly must share Beane’s vision for Allen at their franchise having signed off on this long-term investment.
“There’s no trepidation on our part of ‘oh, let’s just extend it a year or two’, or anything like that – we believe in Josh,” commented Beane.
Pressure To Deliver
The pressure is now on Allen to deliver more than an AFC Conference Title game. He is being paid to deliver the Super Bowl, as his great AFC rival Patrick Mahomes has already done.
The Bills are the joint third favourites to win the Super Bowl next season at +1200 with BetRivers PA, alongside the Green Bay Packers, with only the Buccaneers (+650) and Kansas City Chiefs (+475) ahead of them.
With Allen now signed up for a further six years, the Bills chances of landing an elusive Super Bowl win for the franchise do look to have been significantly enhanced.