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Denver Broncos sign defensive end Zach Allen to huge three-year deal

Free-agent defensive end Zach Allen has decided to leave the Arizona Cardinals in favor of a rather massive three-year deal with the Denver Broncos on Monday, continuing a phenomenally active first day of free-agency for new head coach Sean Payton’s squad.

The official numbers on the contract total $45.75 million, with $32.5 million of that haul being guaranteed upon signing.

Aside from the somewhat mind-blowing guaranteed money likely doing a lot of talking for Allen, the defensive end will be heading to Denver for an immediate reunion with Broncos’ new defensive coordinator, Vance Joseph.

Joseph had spent the last four seasons with the Cardinals in the very same role, so the situation really could not have worked out any better for Allen, as Joseph is the only defensive coordinator he has known since making his NFL rookie debut in 2019.

But let’s get back to the astounding money being shoveled Allen’s way.

The guarantee of $32.5 million doesn’t seem to fall in line with the defensive end’s output. His best year was his most recent, albeit not the eye-popping numbers one might expect to warrant such a contract.

In 2022, Allen tallied 5.5 sacks in 13 starts. In the season prior, he had four sacks in 14 starts.

Otherwise, his first two seasons in Arizona were more or less a nothing sandwich, so it’s not entirely clear what warranted such a large commitment.

Glass half-full? The 6-foot-4 defensive end is only 25 years old. Perhaps the Denver front office feels as though they’re getting ahead of the pack, locking up Allen before his asking price might surge once he plays a full season.

Zach Allen becomes just the latest addition to what was quite a day of activity for the aggressive Denver Broncos, who signed right tackle Mike McGlinchey, guard Ben Powers, linebacker Alex Singleton, quarterback Jarrett Stidham, and tight end Chris Manhertz.

Related: 2023 NFL free agency: Winners and losers thus far