Allen addresses possibility of long-term contract with Bears

Allen addresses possibility of long-term contract with Bears

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO—After 11 years with the Los Angeles Chargers, the Chargers traded Allen to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a fourth-round pick. While Allen is closer to the end of his career, he proved last season that he is still an elite receiver in this league.

Allen is a six-time Pro Bowler who made his sixth Pro Bowl appearance in the last seven seasons back in 2023. His 1,243 receiving yards were the second-most in his career, and even more impressive, given that quarterback Justin Herbert was not available for all of those games. The most likely reason he was traded was that Los Angeles could not afford to keep this elite talent.

His cap hit this season is $23.1 million, the second-highest of anyone on Chicago's roster. However, his contract is only for this season. For over a decade, his family has been located in California, and now that Allen is with the Bears, his family does not have plans to relocate.

Nonetheless, this does not have an effect on whether he is interested in a long-term contract with the Bears, as he enjoys the city and has been embraced by Chicago’s locker room.

“As far as I’ve been here, it’s been nothing but love and been beautiful,” Allen said. “The golf is amazing, which I love to do, and the guys are amazing in the locker room as well. So, it wouldn’t be hard to adjust to a city like this.”

Allen is not new to helping a rookie quarterback develop; he was part of this journey back in 2020 when the Chargers drafted Herbert.

Now, Allen is helping Chicago’s rookie quarterback, Caleb Williams, to develop starting with building their chemistry during mandatory minicamp.

“I think the offense as a whole, everybody’s experienced, pretty much, at every position, except the quarterback position,” Allen said. “So, as long as we’re all talking to him, we’re all on the same page, we’re communicating at the same level, it should be no problem.”

The biggest struggle so far for Williams has been adjusting to the verbal cadence. Back in college, he only used the clap cadence. However, his teammates, including Allen, have acknowledged that Williams is a fast learner and should have no problem having his voice and figuring out the cadence.

“I would say, by the time we get to training camp because he’s going to be here for a while,” Allen said. “By the time we get to training camp, he’ll be well-oiled on what we got going on and spending time with the offensive linemen, with the (offensive coordinator) and … understanding his voice and how he wants to say it, his rhythm, how he wants to go through it.”

In addition to helping Williams develop, Allen will also be instrumental in helping rookie wide receiver Rome Odunze.

Odunze showed elite talent in college and comes into Chicago in a strong position to learn from some of the best in Allen as well as DJ Moore.

“Rome looks great. He’s a guy who’s stepped in. He’s been with the ones right off the bat, and he’s running around pretty good,” Allen said. “His routes, he knows what he’s doing, his responsibilities and that’s huge. First coming in, we haven’t even got (to) training camp, and he already kind of knows where to go, where to line up, where to be. So, that’s huge.”

The Bears will have their first day of training camp on Tues. July 23; their first practice that is open to the public will take place on Fri. July 26.

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