Keenan Allen Inks Contract Extension; 4-Year, $44 Million
Without a receiver to throw to, it’s tough for a quarterback to survive in this league. For the past decade, Philip Rivers has found success in the NFL and a lot of that credit goes to having Antonio Gates to throw to. However, Gates is turning 36 in June and will be considering retirement soon. That’s not very good news for Rivers.
There is upside going forward, though. The San Diego Chargers announced the signing of a four-year contract extension to keep WR Keenan Allen a part of their offense for years to come. The deal is reportedly worth more than $44 million and was first reported by ESPN’s NFL Insider, Adam Caplan.
Coming out of Cal University, many people doubted Keenan Allen’s ability to be effective in the NFL. Dealing with an injury going into the 2013 NFL Draft and having less-than-stellar numbers at his pro day, Allen went overlooked on most people’s clipboards. There was one team that took the chance and grabbed Allen in the third round.
Three notable wide receivers were chosen ahead of Allen in the draft. Tavon Austin, DeAndre Hopkins and Cordarrelle Patterson were all chosen in the first round. However, after looking at that list, only one of those receivers has had a more productive career so far — DeAndre Hopkins.
Allen got off to a slow start in his first training camp, but was given a golden opportunity when Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander went down with season-ending injuries. This is when Allen proved his worth to the Chargers and Philip Rivers’ offense. Since then, he has continued to grow as a receiver and has compiled 215 catches, 2,554 yards and 16 touchdowns in his three seasons with San Diego.
Built For Success
Keenan Allen is one of those receivers that are built to succeed in the NFL. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 210 pounds, Allen has the size to soar over defenders and grab any ball thrown to him — something Rivers is pretty good at. Combine that with his sticky hands and ability to grab yards after the catch, Allen becomes a threat at any part of the field and is a threat to score on any ball he catches.
We’ve seen what happens to the Chargers’ offense when Allen is their No. 1 target on the receiving end. However, we’ve also seen what happens when he’s not a part of that gunslinging offense. Last season, Allen played eight games before going down with a season-ending lacerated kidney. In those eight games, Allen grabbed 67 receptions — tied for the third-most receptions through the first eight games in NFL history. In that span, the team was averaging 24 points per contest.
When Allen went down with the injury, San Diego began to struggle offensively and their season came to a screeching halt. With their offense now averaging a mere 16 points per contest, the team was finding it hard to win without Keenan Allen.
Now 24 years old — and most importantly, healthy — Allen is ready to once again prove why he is Rivers’ No. 1 target on the field. He has plenty more productive years ahead of him and also plenty more time to get even better.
The Chargers open their season on September 11th at 10 AM against the Kansas City Chiefs.
(Keenan Allen Inks Contract Extension)