Drew Rosenhaus is announcing through his twitter account that cornerback Will Allen has signed a two-year contract extension.
According to Rosenhaus, the deal is worth $16.2 million over the next three seasons, which obviously includes 2009. Rosenhaus has texted me saying the contract includes $10 million in guaranteed money over the next two seasons.
Allen was originally in the final year of his contract and scheduled to make $4 million in base salary, according the NFL Players Association figures. He is now signed through 2011.
The deal is a good one for both sides. Allen wanted a deal before the start of the season and obviously has that now. He can concentrate on football, knowing the Dolphins want him and he has relative security for the next few seasons.
Most importantly, perhaps, is that Allen doesn't have to wait for his free agency to come to get a big pay bump.
For Miami, the deal locks up a solid cornerback at a fair price. Allen will cost the team an average of $5.4 million per year the next three seasons. The best cornerbacks on the market last season were paid up to $12 million (Champ Bailey).
Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha signed a deal this February that pays him $28.5 over the next two seasons or a $14.25 million average in 2009 and 2010. That deal voids in 2011 unless the Raiders fork over at least another $16.8 million in 2011.
Granted, Allen is not in the same class as Asomugha, who is arguably the best cornerback in the NFL so comparing their contracts is not a good parallel.
A fairer comparison might be players such as Kelvin Hayden and Domonique Foxworth, both younger than Allen but probably not any more accomplished. Hayden signed a five-year deal that averages $8.6 million and Domonique Foxworth signed a four-year deal that averages $6.8 million per year. Both those deals included $16 million in guarantees.
Allen will be 31 in August so this may be his last big payday as he won't be a free agent again -- assuming he plays to the end of the deal -- until he is 34 years old.
From a sheer football perspective and leaving the economics out of it, it gives the Dolphins three cornerbacks they have faith in (including the rookies Vontae Davis and Sean Smith) on the roster the next three years. Yes, I know Smith and Davis are rookies but that doesn't change the fact the Dolphins drafted them high which is the definition of having faith in a player.
Allen, a solid pro, can be a good example for both the younger players and this new deal should motivate him to reach out to the kiddies and help them along because he knows he's not going anywhere after the coming season.
Here's where you come in. I told you two weeks ago the Dolphins were in the process of signing players -- check the archives if you doubt that. They've signed Lousaka Polite and Will Allen since then. Who do you think should be next?
Among the players enterring the final years of their contracts are Anthony Fasano, David Martin, Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Jason Ferguson, Matt Roth, Davone Bess, Andy Alleman, and Ikechuku Ndukwe. Keep in mind not all these players can become unrestricted free agents and if a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached only players with six seasons of experience can become free agents.
So when you gauge Miami's priority for retaining the player coupled with signability, who is next?
My guess? Fasano.