The Washington Football Team has locked up one of their young stars on their formidable defensive line. According to his agents, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and Washington have agreed to a four-year extension worth $72 million with a $30 million signing bonus.
Coming out of Alabama, Allen was touted as a potential top-five pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but due to medical concerns, Washington was able to land the 2016 SEC Defensive Player of the Year with the No. 17 overall pick. Allen was limited to just five games as a rookie in 2017 but has since played in all but one game in the previous three seasons. Since entering the league, Allen has recorded a total of 202 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, 45 quarterback hits, one safety, one pass deflection, and two fumble recoveries. Allen's best season came in 2018 when he finished with eight sacks, 15 quarterback hits, 61 tackles, and 11 tackles for loss.
Allen will now remain the anchor force in the middle of what many consider to be the league's best defensive lines for years to come. Alongside Allen is fellow Alabama defensive tackle and 2018 first-round No. 13 overall pick Daron Payne, 2019 first-round No. 26 overall pick defensive end Montez Sweat, and 2020 No. 2 overall pick defensive end Chase Young. Such a dominant unit led Washington to finish the 2020 season with No. 4 overall defense as well as winning the NFC East and making the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season.
Alongside his impressive production on the field, Allen has been a model teammate, being voted as a team captain, as well as a model figure in the community, being nominated for The Walton Payton Man of the Year by his team in 2020.
“He’s learned, he’s grown within our scheme and is playing some good football right now for us," head coach Ron Rivera said regarding Allen. "Off the field, I know he has a passion for the military like I do because he grew up in the military. He understands how important it is to give back. That’s the thing that I really appreciate.”
Following all of the reports and controversy to come to light in recent years, players and role models such as Allen are key to reinventing and maintaining good culture in Washington alongside Rivera going forward.
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