A 2014 fifth-round draft pick out of Purdue, Allen signed a $2.914 million second-round restricted-free-agent tender this offseason as a precursor to the extension. The complete terms of his contract extension were not immediately available.
Allen, who spent time on the practice squad upon entering the NFL, has evolved into one of the key players on the Falcons’ fast-rising defense. His detailed knowledge of the scheme has made him the quarterback of the unit. He started 45 games the past three seasons, playing 2,748 defensive snaps. The Falcons finished in the top 10 in both scoring defense and total defense last season, a feat they hadn’t accomplished since 1998.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said signing left tackle Jake Matthews, nose tackle Grady Jarrett and Allen to extensions was a priority after the team signed quarterback Matt Ryan to a five-year, $150 million deal ($100 million guaranteed), the richest contract in the league. Matthews signed a five-year, $75 million extension, while Jarrett has yet to agree to terms.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank praised Allen not too long before the deal was reached.
“He’s part of our family and represents the best of everything we’re about on the field, off the field,” Blank told ESPN. “He’s another one of these guys that will be a Falcon for life.”
The Falcons also adjusted top wide receiver Julio Jones‘ contract to include an additional $2.9 million in 2018, with a promise to readdress his contract in full before the 2019 season.
With Allen now signed long-term, the Falcons have locked up three of their four starters in the secondary. The team signed 2015 Pro Bowler Desmond Trufant through 2022 and Robert Alford through 2020. Strong safety Keanu Neal, a Pro Bowler last season, signed a four-year contract in 2016 that includes a fifth-year option.