Detroit Lions rumors: An offseason deal to rescue Jonathan Allen from his Washington misery?

Jonathan Allen is possibly eyeing his future outside of Washington, so could the Detroit Lions consider an offseason deal to get him?
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders dropped to 4-9 this season with a blowout loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. They appear to have a quarterback to build around, but another rebuild seems to be coming with a new owner in place and a new head coach all but certainly coming.

Jonathan Allen was part of a run of early draft picks Washington made along their defensive line, and two of his peers (Chase Young and Montez Sweat) were moved before the trade deadline this year. At 28 years old, the two-time Pro Bowler would surely like to win.

On Monday morning, Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. asked Allen if he ever thinks about leaving the Commanders.

"1000%. I’d be lying if i said I didn’t. I play this game to win and I would love to win here for sure but I want to win first and foremost. So that’s always going to be at the front and center of my mind and everything I’m going to be doing in my career is going to make sure I’ll have an opportunity to win.”

Those comments are a far cry from Allen asking the Commanders to trade him in the offseason. But Dean Jones from our friends over at Riggo's Rag put it eloquently summing up his demeanor this season.

"Allen has cut a forlorn figure throughout the season. His production is on the slide and his teammates aren't doing enough either, which is a dangerous combination with so many big changes on the immediate horizon."

Detroit Lions rumors: An offseason trade for Jonathan Allen?

After tallying 9.0 and 7.5 sacks in the 2021 and 2022 seasons respectively, and earning a Pro Bowl selection in both seasons, Allen has 5.5 sacks through 13 games this season. His overall pass rush numbers are not especially down, but his raw tackle total (40) is off his general pace.

Even getting up in years just a bit, Allen would have plenty of trade suitors should Washington entertain it or honor what may be his ultimate wish to be elsewhere.

Allen is under contract through 2025, with base salaries of $14 million (2024) and $15.5 million (2025). Trading him before June 1, 2024 would leave the Commanders with $12 million of his $21.5 million 2024 cap hit as dead money. But with no fully guaranteed salary left on his deal after this year, he has noticeable money tied up in bonuses (prorated signing bonus, per game roster bonus, workout bonus). And after 2024, it's far easier to get out of his contract.

The Lions' struggles to generate consistent pass rush this season are well-documented. Beyond Aidan Hutchinson, Alim McNeill, maybe now Bruce Irvin and possibly Josh Paschal, there's not a lot of promise that will change. But come the offseason, finding a way to fix it stands to be a priority.

General manager Brad Holmes holds draft capital sacred, as he broadly should to keep the pipeline of young talent filled. But he also showed some calculated aggression in free agency last March, and seriously entertaining the trade market looking to 2024 would not be a reach.

It would of course primarily depend on Allen being available, then the Commanders' asking price. But he is someone who should intrigue Holmes and the Lions on a surface level, even if the ultimate chances of an offseason deal to bring him to Detroit are slim.


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