This contract extension should not be a priority for the Chicago Bears

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One of the big reasons the Chicago Bears were able to trade for Keenan Allen without giving up much draft capital is his age and contract status. Allen will be a free agent this offseason, so if the Chargers did not anticipate re-signing him, it was smart to get what they could now. For the Bears, it brings up a question of whether or not they should extend Allen this offseason, or risk him playing for one year and then hitting the open market.

The Chicago Bears should wait to extend Keenan Allen

While that is a risk, the Bears would be smart to wait this out and see how he fits into the offense before trying to extend Keenan Allen. The biggest reason would be his age. Most receivers start to hit a wall after they hit age 31. 

Allen is in a good spot because his game is set to age well. However, it is hard to assume he can hit a similar level of play, even if he does not completely fall off.

Allen hit 1,200 yards at age 31. Historically, there have been 44 receivers to hit 1,000 yards at that age. There are 27 receivers to hit 1,100 yards, and 17 to hit 1,200 yards. At age 33, there are 20 receivers to hit 1,000, 13 to hit 1,100, and then four to hit 1,200. Hitting 1,200 yards is much more common for a 31-year-old than a 33-year-old. 

So, if you are paying Allen now, you are paying for what he did, and it is unlikely to be what he can do. Allen will be going from a team where he was the clear number-one target to competing with Rome Odunze and DJ Moore for some primary targets. 

The team should see how he settles into this new role. His stats will likely be impacted, and he does have an injury history. Even if Allen does produce, he is going to be 32 years old, and while there will be a market, the Bears can dare him to test it and then try to match his deal later on.

The Bears want to keep Allen here, but the timing is not right. The best bet is to see him extended during the season or right after the season.