From 2017 through 2021, Keenan Allen was among the NFL’s most productive wide receivers.
The Chargers standout averaged 102 receptions for 1,184 yards, and he made the Pro Bowl all five campaigns.
Last year, a hamstring injury kept him out almost the entire first half of the season. Still, Allen managed 66 catches for 752 yards in 10 games, his best yards-per-game average since 2017. But that’s the thing with Allen, injuries have become more of a hindrance with each passing season, and he’s about to be 31.
So, the Chargers have the decision to make. Allen is owed a salary that commands $21.7 million against the cap. Currently, Los Angeles is $19.8 million over the projected 2023 salary cap.
If they trade or release him, the Chargers will save roughly $14 million in cap space. Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson has used his resources of NFL contacts developed over 20 years covering the league to create his hypothetical NFL futures odds on Allen’s 2023 team.
Odds are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect odds that may be available on legal betting apps.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have options, but the most likely scenario includes parting ways with one of three high-priced standouts. Joey Bosa ($31 million) and Khalil Mack ($27.4 million) are the other most-logical choices. Bosa, 27, seems less likely to be the pick over Mack and Allen, who are each age 31.
With Mike Williams in tow and a group of promising WRs in the 2023 NFL Draft expected to be available at No. 21 when L.A. picks, Allen might be the odd man out. Part of it is also due to the idea Allen might be the most intriguing option in a trade situation. One could argue at least half of the league’s teams will be eyeing WR improvement this offseason.
Two of those teams are in dire need of adding a weapon for their young QB and have the available cash to make it work. The Chicago Bears have Justin Fields – for now, anyway – but the team averaged an NFL-worst 153 pass yards per game. Darnell Mooney was the team’s top receiver, with just 493 yards.
Patriots, Giants, Ravens
The New England Patriots weren’t that pitiful, but Jakobi Meyers’ 804 yards made him the only WR on the team with over 550 yards, and he’s an unrestricted free agent. They could bring him back and still have enough for Allen if they wanted to bolster the passing attack led by QB Mac Jones.
The New York Giants voided the contract of Sterling Shepard and don’t have leading wideout Darius Slayton under contract for 2023. They must first decide how to handle fellow potential free agents RB Saquon Barkley and QB Daniel Jones, but WR is atop the priority list. We’ll see how much funding remains if Barkley and Jones are retained.
The Baltimore Ravens also have a decision to make with QB Lamar Jackson, whether it be using the franchise tag on him, trading him, or letting him walk. Right now, the Ravens have the cash to spend; that could change. Either way, the Ravens need to boost a 30th-ranked pass offense. Demarcus Robinson led all wideouts with just 458 yards.
If Allen becomes a free agent, the options open up with championship-contending teams dealing with modest financial issues. Allen made waves after the Super Bowl by proclaiming his respect for Patrick Mahomes and the rival Kansas City Chiefs. KC isn’t far off from a cap perspective in being able to make a play on Allen. The Dallas Cowboys are also in the market for an additional pass-game target, though its cap space is roughly $18 million less than KC’s.
Although not available on California betting sites, the Field in this market includes teams in need of a WR1 but currently without funds to make it happen.
The New Orleans Saints lead that charge, but the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, and Buffalo Bills also fit the mold.
Featured Image: IMAGN