Chicago Bears could be big winners in Keenan Allen trade with Los Angeles Chargers

Many people thought that the Chicago Bears' acquisition of wide receiver Kennan Allen was a one-year rental. However, he could end up staying longer and with the Los Angeles Chargers struggling with their receivers the Bears could be big winners
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles wanted to make sure he put his prized asset, Caleb Williams, in the best possible position to succeed. He overhauled the offense and turned it into possibly one of the highest-scoring offenses in the NFL.

The biggest and most surprising move Poles made this offseason was trading for six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen. Allen is one of the top receivers in the league. He and DJ Moore would make one of the best wide receiver duos in the league.

With the new-look offense, the Bears look to be contenders for the NFC North division title. They may even be able to win a playoff game. That is something for later, however.

While the trade for Keenan Allen was thought to be a short-term help, his time with the Chicago Bears could last longer and be a great win.

Allen could be key to helping with Williams' development. He is one of the league's best route-runners. Additionally, he is one of the hardest working players. He is relentless with his work ethic. He will help Williams learn where to place the ball to help receivers catch it cleanly and make a big play.

The one thing with Allen, though, is how long he could be a Bear. The reason he was available in a trade was because he was in the final year of his contract. The Los Angeles Chargers were in salary cap hell so they needed to free up some space. They asked Allen to take a pay cut but he refused, and the Chargers traded him.

Additionally, Allen is 32 years old. He has more seasons behind him than in front of him. While he had a Pro Bowl season in 2023, how much longer can he continue?

The prevailing thought is that Allen could help Williams this season and then run off into the sunset. The price for wide receivers has skyrocketed. Minnesota Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson reset the market after he just signed a four-year, $140 million deal.

As mentioned earlier, the Chicago Bears also have Moore. He is due a new contract himself. He is just 27 years old so he is still in his prime. After Jefferson's new contract, it will cost a pretty penny for Chicago to re-sign him. Would they also want to spend money on Allen?

If Allen could prove he still has it there could be a chance he remains. With Moore and Rome Odunze, a rookie who has the ability to be a WR1 right away, Allen could be a perfect WR3. Even if he does lose a step, precision route-running is his bread and butter, not speed.

Is Allen an option beyond 2024?

At his age and in the final year of his contract, Allen could just be a one-year option. He already contemplated retirement when the Chargers approached him to re-work his contract. If a player is already thinking of retirement it would not be long before he actually does.

Allen has done plenty in his career. He was second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 and was the Comeback Player of the Year in 2017. He also has five playoff games under his belt. He has 10,530 receiving yards and 59 touchdowns. He's had a solid career. If he ended it now it would be great.

It seems that Allen might still want to keep going. He said he was open to a contract extension. Depending on how he plays in 2024, he could want to extend his career. Furthermore, he fired his representation and hired someone else. He is now represented by the same agency that represents teammate Montez Sweat.

That is not the move of someone who is ready to retire. There might be more in the tank and he could be ready to use up everything he has.

The Chargers could be regretting the trade

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh could regret the trade that shipped his best wide receiver out. During their offseason camps, the wide receivers unit struggled to make catches. No one is on the roster with Allen's experience, and it shows.

It is ironic that the Chargers' wide receiver group is struggling. After the trade went down, Harbaugh spoke on it and seemed to fire some shots at the Allen and the Bears. He was his usual smug self saying that the Chargers had it better than Allen.

"It’s the business part of it. And everybody does what’s in their best interest. And Keenan, I mean, [you] make $23 million a year and play in Chicago, you know, who’s got it better?"

Jim Harbaugh

Now Harbaugh is dealing with receivers who cannot make catches. Meanwhile, in Chicago, Allen is a part of a potentially dynamic offense that may put up a lot of points in front of a fan base desperate to watch great play on the field again. He could be in such a good space he may continue his career.

Harbaugh rejoined the NFL to show he can succeed like he did in college. He just won the National Title with the Michigan Wolverines. While he was a head coach in the NFL, he failed to win a Super Bowl. He wants to do that now that he's returned. It looks as if his restart might be difficult.


If Allen plays well and extends his stay in Chicago, and his new team starts winning, this trade could be a very big win for him and the Chicago Bears.