Will Keenan Allen's future with the Chicago Bears go past 2024? 'We'll see what happens'

Keenan Allen originally didn't have the Chicago Bears on his short list of teams.

He said Saturday there was no way he was going to restructure his contract. If that led to him getting traded out of Los Angeles, he had two teams he was interested in going to: The Houston Texans and New York Jets.

On Thursday, he was traded to the Bears for a fourth-round pick. That didn't damper his excitement.

"Definitely excited," Allen said as he was introduced at Halas Hall on Saturday. "My receiver coach is over here, so that excites me a little bit. And, just being with a new organization, being able to see new things, be a part of new things and just be excited about it."

The Bears hired Chris Beatty as their wide receivers coach this offseason. He coached Allen from 2021 to 2023, giving Allen some continuity as he moves from one franchise to the next.

Allen figures to tag team with DJ Moore to potentially create one of the best wide receiver tandems the Bears have ever had, at least since the Bears had Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall.

However, a more pressing issue is Allen's contract status.

He signed a four-year, $80.1 million contract ahead of the 2020 season that will expire after the 2024 season. 

When asked about the potential of staying in Chicago past this upcoming season, Allen didn't openly say what he wanted. 

"We're just kind of taking it one day at a time," Allen said. "Got one year left and we'll see what happens."

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 12: Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at SoFi Stadium on November 12, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansez

Allen is due a roster bonus of $5 million that kicks in Sunday. The Bears have more than enough cap space to handle that bonus and more.

His cap hit this season is $23.1 million, however that number would be reduced if the Bears were able to strike an extension with him.

Even though the Bears weren't on Allen's short list of teams he's interested in, he was open about the possibility of an extension past this season.

"Absolutely, or we wouldn't be here right now, obviously," Allen said. "We'll get there down the line."

That would be a worthy investment for the Bears.

Allen turns 32 this April, and he has missed 11 total games in the last two seasons, but he's shown he's still a high-volume producer.

Allen led the NFL with 108 receptions through Week 13 last season before a heel injury kept him out of the final four games of the season. He still finished sixth in the NFL in catches. Allen also recorded 1,243 receiving yards.

The Bears know this. When the Bears and Chargers played in SoFi Stadium on Oct. 29, Allen caught eight passes on 10 targets for 69 yards in Los Angeles' 30-13 win. 

Playing with Moore takes significant attention away from Allen, especially as he primarily played alongside rookie Quentin Johnston and Joshua Palmer after Mike Williams suffered an ACL tear in Week 3.

Whether the Bears decide to extend Allen or not won't have any impact on Allen's future. He said he still sees himself as an impact player that doesn't think about retirement.

"I actually kind of go year by year, stay in the moment and," Allen said. "When my body says no more then that's when we'll have that conversation."

As for the present day, Allen sees the potential.

The Bears have added tight end Gerald Everett and running back D'Andre Swift to an offense that already has Moore, Cole Kmet and Kahlil Herbert. First-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron now has two No. 1 receivers to work with, no matter who plays quarterback.

Allen knows defenses can't just guard one player. He plans to take advantage of that for however long he's in a Bears uniform.

"We can be really special," Allen said. "You got weapons, you got guys who can beat man all over the field, so double teaming one guy is going to be costly for the defense. And I think we can use that to our advantage."


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