Jonathan Allen, Washington Football Team agree to $72 million extension

The Washington Football Team took a big step toward achieving continuity on its defensive line, signing tackle Jonathan Allen to a four-year extension.

The contract, announced by Team IFA, his agency, on social media Monday, is worth $72 million with a $30 million signing bonus.

Allen, a first-round draft pick in 2017, has anchored the interior of Washington's defensive line, a group that provides the franchise its most hope in a while to build a consistent winner. Allen now becomes the fourth-highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL. It also allows Washington to keep its starting defensive front intact for the next two seasons if it desires.

Both Allen and the franchise had said they wanted to get a deal done all offseason. But, according to a source, talks had moved at a slow pace until Monday, as Allen's side had made it clear that an extension had to be at least $18 million per season.

Allen, whom the organization considers a team leader, had recently discussed the situation with coach Ron Rivera. The second-year Washington coach has said often that he wanted to make sure the team builds, and maintains, a strong line on both sides of the ball.

Washington did not want a repeat of its situation with guard Brandon Scherff, who is playing on the franchise tag for a second consecutive season and could be difficult to keep beyond 2021.

Fellow starting defensive tackle Daron Payne will be in the final year of his contract in 2022 and the team would like to keep him. Washington also will have to worry about ends Montez Sweat (2023) and Chase Young (2024) in future years. Washington also has Matt Ioannidis, signed through 2022, and Tim Settle, who is a free agent after this season.

While there were durability concerns about Allen coming out of Alabama, he has started 52 games, including all but one in the past three seasons, and has 17 sacks. He played as a 3-4 defensive end in his first three seasons before Washington switched to a 4-3 this past season. Allen was fourth among defensive tackles in pass rush win rate in 2020, according to ESPN Stats & Information.