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Josh Allen: I want to be in Jacksonville

Pay the man already.

Syndication: Florida Times-Union Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

Josh Allen made his opinion very clear.

After Sunday’s Pro Bowl, New4Jax’s Jamal St. Cyr asked the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive star if he wanted to remain in Jacksonville.

He did not hold back his thoughts.

“Of course I want to be in Jacksonville,” Allen said. “I have a chance to leave a legacy behind. And that is something I have wanted to do. I wanted to be the best defensive player to come out of Jacksonville. And that’s everywhere that I go. I got to give every opportunity to finish what I started. But at the end of the day, I know what come with the business side of it. So, whatever play out, play out. But I would love to be back.”

That right there sounds like a guy who wants to wear teal for the rest of his NFL career. That sounds like a team leader and a respected NFL veteran getting his point across, and doing so in a meaningful manner.

As has been well documented, the Jags are currently at a standstill in the Allen contract negotiations.

General manager Trent Baalke and his team have yet to publicly reach out to Allen and his representatives to discuss a future contract.

This past season, Allen played out an almost $11 million fifth-year player option, but will be looking to make much more than that next season.

His contract is currently up, and after his franchise record 17.5 sacks, Allen is predicted to be in the range of a $24 million-a-year deal. That type of money puts him at the level of contracts for Bradley Chubb and Joey Bosa.

Obviously, committing that much to one player is a large undertaking and Allen admits as much. The fear from the front office is likely that Allen never repeats his historic season, and the team is stuck paying him top-of-the-market money for a middle-tier production.

The NFL is a business after all, and this deal will change the landscape of the team for a long time.

With that in mind though, look at the opinion of fellow Pro Bowler Evan Engram on Allen and his future.

“He has to be back. He has to be. He’s been in a staple in Jax since he got there. The year he just had, you can’t let that go. You can’t let that go. I think he’s in a good spot. I know we want him back, I know upstairs wants him back. I told him just be patient.”

The ball is now in the court of Baalke and the front office. The clock is slowly ticking away.

Whether Allen is back on a new deal, or a franchise tag, the best-case scenario is doing right by the former first-rounder and paying him for his past season and future high-level production for years to come.

“I’m not going to commit to anything right now relative to the franchise tag. But at the same token, Josh Allen is going to be a Jaguar next year,” Baalke said at his press conference in January.