Ricardo Allen’s rise within the Falcons organization has been a remarkable one, as he went from forgotten fifth round pick at cornerback under Mike Smith to starting free safety with Dan Quinn’s team. Marquand Manuel has repeatedly praised his ability to prevent big plays, and the team has openly talked about signing him to a long-term deal.
That isn’t happening today, but Allen should be in Atlanta for at least one more season after the team elected to give him a second round tender. Allen is a restricted free agent this year, and the tender will pay him $2.914 million if and when he signs it.
Falcons placed the second-round tender worth $2.914 million on restricted free agent free safety Ricardo Allen. Team still could sign Allen to a long-term deal before the start of the season. https://t.co/2LToN25rvR— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 12, 2018
Allen, 26, wound up with 38 tackles and an interception in 2017, but those numbers do little to reflect the value he offers as a heady, quick safety net at the back end of the defense. The team drafted Damontae Kazee a year ago to give him competition at free safety, but it appears more likely that Kazee will push Brian Poole at nickel cornerback in 2018, as Allen remains a Manuel favorite and a very solid starting safety.
It is conceivable that a team with a ton of draft capital to burn will elect to try to pry Allen away from Atlanta for a second round pick, but I imagine he’ll return to the Falcons. Hopefully, the two sides can find common ground on an extension well before Allen hits free agency in 2019, and we’ll look forward to seeing him play here again in 2018.