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Jaguars GM confident in keeping Josh Allen ahead of free agency

The Jags could franchise tag him if need be

Carolina Panthers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Behind Trevor Lawrence, the Jacksonville Jaguars have become a contender in the AFC South. They barely missed the NFL Playoffs this season after a few discouraging losses coupled with a 4-5 home record.

The Jags battled through a myriad of injuries and should be primed for a bounce-back season next year. However, that's only if they’re able to keep the band together. Players are becoming free agents in the next few months, and the landscape of the NFL could change.

One player to keep an eye on is former Kentucky Wildcats star Josh Allen. The Jags will want to keep him in Jacksonville. Their general manager, Trent Baalke, seems confident he’ll make it happen one way or another.

Allen is coming off a 17.5-sack season and is among the best, young defensive ends in the NFL. He’s just 26 years old, so the 6-foot-5 2-time Pro Bowler should be a hot commodity if he were to hit the open market, though he’ll likely be hit with the franchise tag if the two sides don’t agree to a long-term contract in the coming weeks.

Allen had five games with two or more sacks, so he was truly an elite disruptor on the defensive side of the ball. He also played a career-best 79% of the snaps for the Jags defense. That percentage has increased in each of his five seasons in the NFL.

With the franchise tag available, it is almost a done deal that Allen will stay in Jacksonville, but ideally, they will be able to ink the star defensive end to a long-term contract, potentially making him one of the highest-paid defenders in the NFL.

Here’s to hoping we get to see Allen land that long-term deal soon enough and the security that comes with it.