Where Josh Allen's New $258M Contract Ranks Among NFL's Top Paid QBs

Adam WellsAugust 6, 2021

ORCHARD PARK, NY - JULY 31: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass during training camp at Highmark Stadium on July 31, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

After being one of the NFL's best quarterbacks in 2020, Josh Allen will now be paid like an elite player at the position. 

The Buffalo Bills announced Friday they have signed Allen to a six-year contract extension through the 2028 season. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the deal will pay Allen $150 million guaranteed and up to $258 million total.

In terms of average annual salary based on the total value, Allen's $43 million ranks second to Patrick Mahomes ($45 million). 

NFL QB Contracts (Total Value)

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs ($450 million)

2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills ($258 million)

3. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys ($160 million)

4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans ($156 million)

5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons ($150 million)

6. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks ($140 million)

7. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers ($137.5 million)

8. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams ($135 million)

T9. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions ($134 million)

T9. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers ($134 million)

Contract values via Spotrac.com

Despite the large salary figure attached to this deal, ESPN's Bill Barnwell is optimistic about the Bills' ability to keep building a team around their franchise quarterback:

Bill Barnwell @billbarnwell

Six year extension for Allen would give the Bills the most salary cap runway to work with as they try to build around him. $43 million AAV is a little higher than I thought ($41.5 million), but not shockingly so. Let’s see the specifics when they come out.

As things currently stand, the Bills are mostly capped out for the next two seasons. They have $203.5 million in salary commitments in 2021 and $209.3 million in 2022, per Spotrac

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported in May (h/t NFL.com's Nick Shook) that the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to a $208.2 million cap ceiling for 2022. That figure does represent an almost $26 million increase from this season ($182.5). 

It's not until after the 2022 that the Bills really have to start worrying about their current players under contract becoming free agents.

Cole Beasley, Dawson Knox, Mitch Morse, Cody Ford, A.J. Klein, Tremaine Edmunds and Jordan Poyer are among the notable Bills players whose current deals expire after the 2022 season. 

One benefit of having Allen locked in to a long-term deal is the Bills know what their cap situation will be at the most important position on the field. 

Of course, the most obvious benefit of getting Allen's contract done is the Bills don't have to worry about what to do at quarterback until at least 2029. 

After an inconsistent start to his career in 2018 and 2019, Allen exploded onto the scene last year. The Wyoming alum threw for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns to help the Bills win the AFC East for the first time since 1995. 

During his rookie season three years ago, Allen was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. 

Benjamin Solak @BenjaminSolak

And here's the real kicker:<br><br>Josh Allen has the lowest A. Comp % of all Top QB (throwaways, batted balls, drops, spikes, shovel passes all considered)<br>Josh Allen throws the highest rate of INTable passes<br><br>aaaaaand<br><br>Josh Allen saw the fewest percentage of his passes dropped (!!) <a href="https://t.co/wzE5TCxJAT">pic.twitter.com/wzE5TCxJAT</a>

Per The Ringer's Nora Princiotti, Allen's two-year improvement in completion percentage from 52.8 in 2018 to 69.2 in 2020 is the largest in NFL history. 

Thanks to Allen elevating himself to become one of the best quarterbacks in the league, the Bills advanced to the AFC Championship Game last season for the first time in 27 years. 

The Bills are returning virtually every key player from that 2020 squad, and they added high-ceiling edge rusher Gregory Rousseau from the University of Miami with the No. 30 pick in this year's draft.