For the Washington Football Team, agreeing to a long-term extension with defensive lineman Jonathan Allen has been a priority this offseason.
Allen is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract -- Washington picked up his fifth-year option last May -- but both he and the team are hoping to agree on a multi-year extension before the 2021 season begins.
Speaking with local media via Zoom on Wednesday, Allen said he is not sure when a deal will be finalized but the two sides have been in communication for a while and are hoping to come to an agreement soon.
"If I knew the future, I could probably answer it. We don't know. I don't know," Allen said. "It could be soon, it could be not. We're both operating in good faith and were having great talks, great communication. Besides that, there really isn't much to report right now. Both sides are operating in good faith. It's going good."
Allen, who has said multiple times he wants to stay in Washington long-term, expressed that desire once again on Wednesday.
"I want to be here. This is my home, this is where I want to be," Allen said. "This is where my family is from. I went to high school in this area. I want to be here. I've always had the dream of only playing for one team my entire career, and I really want to do that."
For both sides, getting a deal done prior to training camp would be beneficial. Signing Allen long-term before camp would not only be one less thing both sides have to worry about when actual football begins, but also allow Washington to begin planning how they'll extend some of their other younger players in the future, too.
Allen, who turned 26 in January, is the first of four consecutive defensive linemen Washington used first-round picks on from 2017-2020. Daron Payne, Washington's 2018 first-round pick, is under contract for two more years, as the team picked up his fifth-year option earlier this offseason.
And, while both pass rushers Montez Sweat (2019 first-rounder) and Chase Young (2020) have multiple years left on their rookie contracts, both could be in line for lucrative extensions before their current deals run out.
It will be a challenge for Washington to pay all of them, but it is doable. And that begins with locking up Allen to a multi-year deal this offseason, one where Washington still has significant cap space.
"We're just taking it day by day, continuing to talk and we'll see what happens," Allen said. "I'm excited about what the future holds."