Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Why the Ricardo Allen Extension Is So Important

Ricardo Allen

On Monday, the Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms with Ricardo Allen as they extended him for three years and $19.5 million, according to Adam Schefter. This is a great deal for the Falcons as I fully expected him to go for at least $8 million a year. Allen is the third key player the Falcons have extended this summer. Matt Ryan‘s mega-deal of $30 million a year was first and then Jake Matthews got his money. The Falcons then gave Julio Jones an adjusted deal and have now finished (Maybe!) their round of off-season business by signing Allen. This has overall been a great window but Allen might be the best business by general manager Thomas Dimitroff this summer. Only paying $19.5 million for Ricardo Allen is a steal considering Allen’s importance to the defense as well as the leadership he brings to the young players.

Why Extending Ricardo Allen Was Important for the Atlanta Falcons

Allen was drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Falcons. Originally starting as a cornerback, Allen was cut and landed on the practice squad for a year until Dan Quinn recognized his potential. Quinn switched his position to free safety and Allen had a great year playing 80 percent of Atlanta’s defensive snaps and grabbing three interceptions. Since the position switch, Allen has recorded 212 tackles, one sack, six interceptions, one forced fumble, and nine passes defended. A lot of his work happens behind the scenes as well.

The last two years, Ricardo Allen has played 95 percent of the Falcons’ defensive snaps and has been the quarterback of the defense. He has an incredible football IQ and puts more players in position than anyone in the league. Not only does he put players in position, his IQ allows him to make up for mistakes of other players. His tackling is one of the best aspects of his game and was on display again this year.
On both of these plays, Ricardo showcases great closing speed and a good ability to hang on to players as he stops the offense from getting a big gain. His leadership also showed this year against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Atlanta. Desmond Trufant and Brian Poole were out so Allen had to step up to play cornerback despite not playing the position for three years.
This is the type of play that showcases Allen’s football IQ. He reads Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s eyes the entire time and breaks at the right time to break up a touchdown for a third down stop.
On this play, his tackling is on display once again as he reads the pivot route the entire way and engages with Adam Humphries and brings him down for an important third-down stop.
Although Keanu Neal is known as the big hitter on the team, Allen has shown his hit power and closing speed on multiple occasions.

Allen doesn’t stand out on the stat sheet but his football IQ, tackling ability, and hit power makes him one of the best free safeties in the league and makes this deal more than worth it.

Embed from Getty Images


More Posts

Send Us A Message