Former Cardinals’ DE Zach Allen reached agreement on a three-year, $45.75 million deal that includes $32.5 million guaranteed at signing with the Broncos, per source. Allen is reunited with Denver DC Vance Joseph. pic.twitter.com/34nwEbx900
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2023
Zach Allen, Denver Broncos, Agree to Contract
In 2022, Allen was a breakout star for the Cardinals. Over 13 games, Allen notched 5.5 sacks and amassed 47 total tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss, and 19 quarterback hits. Allen’s career-best 35 quarterback pressures and 8.3% pressure rate were among the best of all interior defensive linemen in the NFL. His 37.9% run-stop win rate was equally impressive. Allen also managed an impressive eight passes defended, with many pointing to the similarities between his playstyle with J.J. Watt’s.
While the numbers may not immediately jump off the page, Allen certainly passed the eye test in 2022. He finished the season with an overall PFF grade of 72.7. His run-defense grade was above 60 and his pass-rush grade was above 70. The strong year meant that Allen was one of two Cardinals listed in ESPN’s top 50 free agents (23). Despite the breakout season, Allen missed the final four weeks of the 2022 campaign due to a hand injury sustained against the New England Patriots.
SEND ZACH ALLEN TO THE PRO BOWL pic.twitter.com/M3zxelFGtb
— PHNX Cardinals (@PHNX_Cardinals) December 13, 2022
Allen was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He was considered a ‘sleeper’ mid-round prospect in the 2019 class. Coming out of Boston College, Allen was primarily a 4-3 power rusher. His selection by the Cardinals was thus puzzling, given their 3-4 scheme. In Arizona, Allen was deployed as a 3-4 defensive end. His rookie year was quiet due to injury. After his rookie year, Allen showed promise in 2020 and improved drastically in 2021. In 2021, Allen accounted for four sacks and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery. Despite the promising signs on the field, Allen has struggled to stay healthy for a full NFL season so far, though this was not a concern at the college level.
Main photo: Mark J. Reblias – USA Today Sports