Jets pursued WR Keenan Allen prior to Bears trade

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (Jets)
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets tried to make free agent wide receiver Keenan Allen their second option on the outside this winter. It didn’t go as planned.

The longtime Los Angeles Chargers wideout opted to join the Chicago Bears ahead of the 2024 season. However, he stated that the Jets were one of two franchises that desired his services.

Jets: Keenan Allen would’ve been a worthy add at $23.1 million

Billy Riccette of Jets Wire relayed the news and gave insight into the financial implications that would’ve come with an Allen signing, saying:

“The Jets would have owed Allen $23.1 million this season, including a $5 million roster bonus. The Jets do need a second wide receiver, so it’s interesting they at least put feelers out there for Allen,” Reccette noted.

Allen, 31, had a monster 2023 campaign. He went for 1,243 receiving yards in only 13 games. The 11-year veteran also sported a 72 percent catch percentage on the year and found the end zone seven times.

The Jets are in great need of a second dynamic receiving option for quarterback Aaron Rodgers next to Garrett Wilson. Allen would have given New York a wideout capable of making plays downfield. His respectable 11.5 yards per reception would have ranked third among all Jets receiving options that played at least 10 games last season.

Jets will look elsewhere as WR market quickly diminishes

Instead, Allen will play out the final year of his four-year, $45 million deal in Chicago catching passes from whoever the Bears draft No. 1 overall in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, the Jets have Allen’s former teammate Mike Williams on their roster as they look to fill the WR2 slot before the offseason concludes.

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