NFL Free Agency Primer: Zach Allen

The regular season has come to a close, and most teams have already begun the complicated process of preparing for the 2023 season. As the new league year approaches, we'll be covering the impending free agents most capable of shifting the balance of power in the NFL.

The Player: Zach Allen

Defensive lineman Zach Allen toiled in obscurity for a miserable Arizona Cardinals squad last season, but he proved he could do the dirty work inside. The former third-round pick of the 2019 NFL Draft compiled 5.5 sacks, 47 total tackles, eight pass deflections, and 20 quarterback hits while earning a 72.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2022. He'll never get much credit, but he can make underrated plays and open things up for surrounding players.

The Fit:

Allen has classic tweener length (6'4") and girth (280 lbs), making him ideal for an end in a 3-4 defense who occasionally shifts inside in four-man fronts. He doesn't have classic defensive tackle size, but he makes sense for a hard-nosed team that values versatility and wants to take a balanced approach on defense.

The Contract:

Allen has an unglamorous skillset that fans overlook but teams typically value. He can probably expect to land a deal similar to Sebastian Joseph-Day's three-year, $24 million pact with the Los Angeles Chargers. D.J. Jones' three-year, $27 million deal with the Denver Broncos is also within the realm of possibilities. 

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