Olympic Hurdler Devon Allen, Eagles Agree to 3-Year Contract in Free Agency

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 8, 2022

September 10, 2016  - University of Oregon WR Devon Allen (13) during an NCAA football game between the University of Oregon Ducks and University of Virginia Cavaliers at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles announced they signed Olympic hurdler Devon Allen, who played wide receiver at the University of Oregon from 2014 through 2016.

ESPN's Tim McManus reported the sides agreed to a three-year contract.

Allen qualified for both the 2016 and 2021 Summer Olympics. He finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles at the Tokyo Games in August.

The 27-year-old Arizona native stepped away from football to focus on track and field after suffering a torn ACL during the 2016 season with the Ducks.

In September, he told World Athletics' Chris Broadbent his desire was to make a return to the gridiron after July's 2022 World Athletics Championships, which will take place in Oregon, while also maintaining a track schedule.

"I would love to try to play [football again] eventually," Allen said. "I know it's not an easy path. I know it's not easy to be elite at everything. The most ideal scenario would be to win the gold and be so dominant that I could play football and train for just a few months for the track."

The Eagles reached out to Allen with interest after he ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash while taking part in Oregon's pro day last week, per McManus.

Philadelphia Eagles @Eagles

.<a href="https://twitter.com/DevonAllen13?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DevonAllen13</a>’s closing speed &gt;<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FlyEaglesFly?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FlyEaglesFly</a><br><br> <a href="https://t.co/3pp2REpOY6">pic.twitter.com/3pp2REpOY6</a>

Allen enjoyed a strong debut season with the Ducks. He recorded 41 catches for 684 yards and seven touchdowns across 14 games in 2014.

He was limited to just nine appearances over the next two seasons after suffering a pair of torn ACLs, though.

It's unlikely Allen makes much of an immediate impact for the Eagles, which probably played a role in the team giving him a three-year contract for a more gradual return to football.

Philly also has pretty solid receiver depth heading into the 2022 campaign, led by DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal and Jalen Reagor.

So Allen may land on the practice squad this fall with an eye toward potentially earning a spot on the Eagles' game-day roster in 2023.

It's a low-risk signing with the potential to provide Philadelphia with a big-play vertical threat in the coming years.