The Atlanta Falcons announced Monday that safety Ricardo Allen has agreed to a three-year contract extension. The deal is reportedly worth $19.5 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Allen, 26, recorded 54 tackles and an interception for the Falcons last season. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 72.1 for his efforts, 35th amongst safeties.
Allen is indeed a key factor in the team’s strong secondary, which also includes cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford and strong safety Keanu Neal. While Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the team’s offense often dominate discussion, the defense was very good for Atlanta last season, finishing ninth in yards allowed (318.4 per game) and eighth in points (19.7 per contest).
They also finished 12th in pass yards per game (214.3).
Under head coach Dan Quinn and defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, the Falcons transitioned to longer, more athletic and physical personnel on the defensive side of the ball.
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Allen, who started with the team on the practice squad, has become one of the key figures of that philosophical shift.
“He’s part of our family and represents the best of everything we’re about on the field, off the field,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank told McClure. “He’s another one of these guys that will be a Falcon for life.”
The agreement with Allen continues general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s promise to reach extensions with key starters before they can become free agents. The Falcons agreed to a five-year, $75 million extension with left tackle Jake Matthews on July 27. Dimitroff also hopes to reach a new deal with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.
Allen, 26, was drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft and has become a reliable safety for the Falcons after initially beginning his career as a cornerback. Allen has started 45 games over his four seasons with the Falcons, registering 212 tackles, 10 pass defenses and six interceptions.
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