Bears Advised to Use Extra Cap Space to Lock Up $80 Million Pro Bowler

The Chicago Bears front office has put together one of the more exciting offseasons in the NFL, and locking in a star producer would make the summer that much more compelling.

Chicago garnered nearly universal praise for acquiring wide receiver Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers for just a fourth-round pick this spring. The trade creates what is arguably the best pass-catching trio at the position across the league, which bodes well for the development of No. 1 overall pick and starting quarterback Caleb Williams.

One concern, however, is that Allen has just one season remaining on his four-year, $80.1 million contract, which means he could end up a free agent as early as March 2025. As such, Ryan Fowler of Bleacher Report on Sunday, June 23, listed a contract extension for Allen as the “most important” for the Bears to complete this summer.

Allen, while 31 years old, can still get it done on the outside. While he’ll be the elder statesmen of the Bears’ receiving core this fall, extending him would present the Bears with years of a trio that could be the best in football.

Considering an extension also remains on the horizon for DJ Moore (UFA following next year), utilizing the $21.6 million in current cap to lock up Allen would be wise of Poles.

Keenan Allen’s Age, Injury History May Play Big Factor in Bears Extension Talks

GettyWide receiver Keenan Allen of the Chicago Bears.

Allen earned Pro Bowl honors in 2023, the sixth time he’s made the team in the last seven years, despite playing in just 13 games. He put up 108 catches for 1,243 yards and 7 TDs.

However, it is Allen’s lack of regular availability that is most likely to give the Bears pause on a new deal. The only year in the last seven that he has missed the Pro Bowl was in 2022, when injuries robbed Allen of seven games.

If Allen remains healthy through the early portion of the season, Chicago could come to the table with an offer, as team doctors will also have a good sense of his general health by then. However, it appears unlikely the Bears are willing to agree to a big extension until they see how Allen fares health-wise and how he fits in alongside Moore and No. 9 overall pick Rome Odunze.

Odunze has yet to play in his first NFL game, though he led the NCAA in receiving last season with 1,640 yards at Washington. Moore, who arrived in Chicago via a trade with the Carolina Panthers ahead of the 2023 draft, had a monster year that included 96 catches, 1,364 yards and 8 TDs as well as a Pro Bowl snub.

Ryan Poles, Keenan Allen Have Both Spoken to Possibility of Extension

GettyWide receiver Keenan Allen of the Chicago Bears.

Both Poles and Allen have spoken about the possibility of an extension since the wideout’s acquisition took place, though neither has been overly committal.

Poles appeared on Waddle and Silvy Show on May 3 and indicated that a mid-season decision could be the most likely outcome.

“We’re just going to keep it moving through the season and see how everything plays out,” Poles said. “There isn’t a sense of urgency there right now, but we’ll see how everything unfolds as we get into the season.”

Media members asked Allen in March whether he could see himself in Chicago long-term, essentially inquiring as to whether he is willing to sign an extension in his early 30s with a team that will be led by a rookie QB.

“Yeah absolutely, or we wouldn’t be here right now,” Allen said. “Obviously, we’ll get there down the line.”

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