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Jaguars place franchise tag on linebacker Josh Allen 

Jacksonville won't let its breakout star test free agency.

The Jaguars used their franchise tag on linebacker Josh Allen ahead of Tuesday's deadline. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport first reported the news.

"We were not able to reach an agreement on a contract extension with Josh before today's deadline, and thus, we have tagged him," Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "We certainly value Josh's leadership on the field, in the locker room and in the community. Our objective to keep Josh in Jacksonville in the coming years remains unchanged and negotiations will continue."

Allen's tag is set at $24.007 million, the second-most expensive position to tag behind quarterbacks.

Such a price is well worth it for the Jags to prevent Allen from departing for another high-paying suitor, as Jacksonville now has until mid-July to work out a long-term deal.

Otherwise, Allen will play on the tag or perhaps come to a modified one-year contract such as running backs Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs did last offseason. Allen's tag continued a busy Tuesday for the Jaguars, who parted ways with defensive backs Rayshawn Jenkins and Darious Williams earlier in the day.

A Pro Bowler with 10.5 sacks during his rookie year in 2019, Allen missed half of 2020 with a knee injury before contributing 7.5 and 7.0 sacks the next two seasons, respectively.

Faced with a prove-it campaign playing on his fifth-year rookie option last season, Allen put together a monstrous display of his worth.

The 26-year-old edge made his second Pro Bowl thanks to a career-high 17.5 sacks, tied for second in the league and accounting for nearly half of Jacksonville's 40 sacks as a team.

His 33 quarterback hits and 17 tackles for loss also marked personal bests, to which he added 66 tackles, two forced fumbles and his second career interception.

He was a standout on a disappointing Jags defense, which ranked 17th in points and 22nd in yards, and will once again be counted on as the unit transitions to a new coordinator, Ryan Nielsen.

The tag also ensures Jacksonville can again pair Allen with third-year linebacker Travon Walker, who started to live up to his billing as the 2022 No. 1 overall pick by logging 10 sacks last season on Allen's opposite edge.

Whether Jacksonville keeps the dynamic duo together just for 2024 or locks down Allen with a big-money second contract remains to be seen.

For now, Allen is set to play a second straight year without the security of a long-term pact.

It's not ideal, but it certainly worked out the first time.

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