Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is reportedly willing to create a team-friendly contract structure as he negotiates a long-term extension with the team.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler updated negotiations Sunday on SportsCenter, saying Allen won't take a discount but will look for ways to help the team remain among the NFL's best:
"As was told to me, look, he knows he's going to get paid eventually, the Bills know he's going to get paid eventually, so neither side is particularly worried about it. I'm told that Allen loves being in Buffalo enough where he's willing to structure things, ya know, that helps the team a little bit. Certainly, he's not going to take a discount by any stretch—he's a top-five quarterback. But he wants them to stay competitive in future years with him in the fold."
If Allen and the Bills want a contractual structure that benefits both sides, they may look at Patrick Mahomes' $503 million megadeal as a sort of inspiration. Mahomes' deal makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history but also has a team-friendly structure that allows the Chiefs to convert base salaries into bonuses to make improvements around the roster.
Mahomes saved the Chiefs $17 million on their 2021 cap with a restructure in March that did not cost him a penny and allowed the team to acquire Orlando Brown Jr. and sign Joe Thuney to improve the offensive line.
Allen's physical skills in the pocket should allow him to age gracefully even when his running prowess starts to wane, so the long-term commitment from Buffalo isn't as much of a risk as the Baltimore Ravens looking for a similar deal for Lamar Jackson.
It is, however, unclear whether Allen is willing to agree to a Mahomesian deal. There is almost no question Mahomes left money on the table by locking himself in for such a long-term deal; quarterback money is only going to continue to rise, and he's under contract through 2031. While it's likely that deal is torn up at some point—2027 is the year to watch, with Mahomes carrying a $60 million cap figure—the Chiefs are under no obligation to do so.
Allen's representation may be a little wary of tying up their client for a decade when it's almost certain there's more money in shorter-term deals.