Lions Labeled Potential Suitor for Projected $143 Million Edge Rusher - Sport News

Lions Labeled Potential Suitor for Projected $143 Million Edge Rusher

The Detroit Lions have already added several key free agents and made a trade for cornerback Carlton Davis this offseason. According to Austin Mock’s NFL Projection Model, the Lions are having one of the best four offseasons in the NFL. But Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox still considers edge rusher Josh Allen a possibility for the Lions.

Lions' Aidan Hutchinson wins rookie of the year award

Knox named Detroit one of two teams that are “potential suitors” for Allen.

“The Detroit Lions added pass-rusher Marcus Davenport in free agency but only inked him to a one-year deal,” Knox wrote. “Detroit has $21.6 million in cap space available and could view Allen as a long-term complement to Aidan Hutchinson.

“For Detroit, a lot might hinge on how its cap situation looks after working out extensions for quarterback Jared Goff and receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. Head coach Dan Campbell has deemed both as ‘priorities.’”

In addition to naming two potential suitors, Knox projected Allen to be worth $143 million on a 5-year contract. He also predicted Allen to receive $88.5 million guaranteed.

Allen has posted 45 sacks, 103 quarterback hits, and 9 forced fumbles in five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. During 2023, he registered a career-high 17.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss and 33 quarterback hits.

Jaguars Placed Franchise Tag on Edge Josh Allen

Allen’s rookie contract has expired, but he could remain with the Jaguars for at least one more season.

That’s because just prior to the tag deadline, Jacksonville placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Allen.

“We were not able to reach an agreement on a contract extension with Josh [Allen] before today’s deadline, and thus, we have tagged him,” Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke said on March 5, via Jacksonville Florida Times-Union’s Demetrius Harvey. “We certainly value Josh’s leadership on the field, in the locker room and in the community.

“Our objective to keep Josh in Jacksonville in the coming years remains unchanged and negotiations will continue.”

For Allen to remain in Jacksonville, though, he will have to agree to sign the tender. Teams can negotiate with Allen and sign him to an offer sheet as well. But the Jaguars will have the right to match any offer, and any team who signs Allen will send Jacksonville two first-round draft picks.

How Allen Could Fit With the Lions

In all likelihood, Allen will remain with the Jaguars. Even if he doesn’t sign the tender, Jacksonville holds all the leverage and doesn’t have to trade him.

For Knox’s hypothetical, though, he proposed the Jaguars changing their minds and moving on from Allen this offseason.

Should Allen become available in a trade, then the Lions are an obvious fit. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was the only Lions defender who had more than 5 sacks last season. Adding Allen would give Detroit a pair of edge rushers who are candidates to be double-digit sack artists in 2024.

As previously mentioned, the Lions signed Davenport. But Davenport has never reached 10 sacks in a season. He’s also had just 2.5 sacks in his past 19 games.

Davenport is signed to only a 1-year contract as well. Allen and Hutchinson could be cornerstones for Detroit’s defense for the foreseeable future.

But as Knox noted, whether the Lions could afford Allen depends significantly on the organization’s plan with contract extensions for their own stars such.

In addition to Jared Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown, offensive tackle Penei Sewell will be due a big contract extension soon. It also won’t be long until Hutchinson and Alim McNeill are set for pay raises.

Even with decent cap space, the Lions have to watch their spending if they plan to re-sign all of those stars in the next 2-3 years.

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