Keenan Allen's Contract Comments Complicate Bears Future

The 32-year-old Allen is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2024 season.
Chicago Bears Mandatory Minicamp
Chicago Bears Mandatory Minicamp / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears made it a point of emphasis this offseason to put as much talent around rookie quarterback Caleb Williams as possible. 

Bears general manager Ryan Poles went out into free agency and signed veteran running back D’Andre Swift and veteran tight end Gerald Everett. Poles also made a blockbuster trade to bolster the wide receiver room, acquiring star Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers.

Allen, along with D.J. Moore, and rookie Rome Odunze, could be one of the best wide receiver trios in the NFL this season. However, the Bears also have to worry about Allen’s future, who is an unrestricted free agent after the 2024 season.

The veteran wide receiver wants to get paid, especially knowing this could be his last big deal at this stage of his career. However, the Bears also have to pay Moore, who won’t be a free agent until 2026, but he could get an extension as well.

Allen spoke to the media on Tuesday about a potential contract extension, stating that he will let his play “speak for itself,” per ESPN’s Courtney R. Cronin.

The former Chargers star wide receiver was also asked if he’s okay going into a contract year and having to prove himself. Allen didn’t mince words and kept it real.

“Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s the goal right now is to go out and do what I always do and just try to remain who I am. And the market just got reset, so…”

It will be tough for Allen to put up similar numbers that he had in Los Angeles last season (108 receptions for 1,243 yards and seven touchdowns) this season with Chicago. However, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for him to have 1,000 yards and show the league that he can stay healthy and be one of the better receivers in the NFL.

Would the Bears love to keep Allen around if he has a great season? Without a doubt. But they also drafted Odunze with their second first-round pick, who can step in as the team’s No. 2 wide receiver in 2025 if he can play at this level.

It will be an interesting season in the Windy City as the Bears try to prove themselves in a tough NFC North that appears to be a two-team race on paper.

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