By LARRY VAUGHT
Coming back to Kentucky for his senior season has turned out to be very profitable for Josh Allen.
He officially signed his four-year rookie contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday that also contains a fifth-year option for the team. He will be almost $15 MILLION in his signing bonus and about $23 million total over four year based on the NFL rookie pay scale for the seventh pick in the draft.
“It feels good to focus on football now, and just worry about football – and not worry about anything off the field,” Allen said Thursday. “I know everything’s settled in now. I’m ready for my family to get down here, and be a Jacksonville Jaguar for life. I’m just ready to make a name for myself in the National Football League. It’s official. I’m officially a Jaguar. It feels great.”
It should with the kind of money he’s going to get because the hard work he was willing to put in to become the consensus national defensive player of the year in 2018 and maybe the best defensive player ever at Kentucky.
The only downside — if there really is one when you just got $15 million just for signing a contract — was that he missed Thursday’s practice with a bruised right knee he suffered in practice Tuesday. Allen downplayed the injury.
“It’s football. I’ve never heard of anybody ever not having anything wrong with them playing a violent sport such as this one. It is what it is. I’ll be back soon,” the NFL rookie said.
“I’m real excited,” he said. “The journey began when I got drafted here, but now it’s official. I get to put my head down and get to work. You can’t go through this and not be humbled by it, especially when you have a journey such as I did.
“Now, you’re here? I think of all of the people who helped me out during the process. It’s just a real humbling experience. I’m just excited to be here, and I’m real thankful.”
Coach Doug Marrone didn’t sound concerned, either.
“We’re just keeping him on the side, working,” Marrone told media members. “He’ll be fine. We’re not concerned about it. It’s a bruise. That’s it. That’s why I want to be sure to set it straight.”
Allen was not scheduled to practice today, either.
“If he was going to be back tomorrow, I wouldn’t say anything,” Marrone said Thursday. “We’re going to be cautious. This time of year, there’s no need to rush anyone back. He’s in shape. He’s strong. He’s done everything we’ve asked. Any other player we’d be doing the same thing, but just because it’s him I think you need to make sure you set everybody straight so nobody goes ‘conspiracy theory.’”