Bears WR Keenan Allen insists he's not sweating his contract situation

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Keenan Allen insisted he's comfortable letting his performance do the talking when it comes to a potential contract extension with the Chicago Bears.

The six-time Pro Bowl receiver finds himself in an uncertain position. He's entering the final season of a four-year extension he signed in 2020, and he's doing it on a new team following a trade from the Los Angeles Chargers.

“I’m going to let the play speak for itself, and if they offer me something that I like, we’ll go from there,” Allen said Tuesday after the Bears' first minicamp practice.

Allen, who turned 32 in April, said it's tough to say how much longer he wants to play. He was sure of this, though: He's fine with having to prove with his performance that he deserves a new deal from the Bears.

“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “I mean, that’s the goal right now is to go out and do what I always do and just try to remain who I am. And the market just got reset, so ...”

Allen was well aware of the two-year extension the San Francisco 49ers gave All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey and the potential impact it could have on the receiver market. The deal is worth $19 million per season, a person familiar with it told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

“That’s huge for a running back, and as long as those numbers continue to go up,” Allen said. “The players are going to continue to get better. They’re younger, bigger, stronger, faster, and they continue to raise the bar, so as long as they’re taking care of their job and vets like me, we just continue to do what we do and take the backseat and get paid as well.”

The Bears believe they are poised for bigger things after going a combined 10-24 in their first two seasons under coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles. Along with the massive trade for Allen, they dealt quarterback Justin Fields to Pittsburgh and drafted former Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick to replace him.

With all the moves they made, the Bears already were the talk of the offseason. They're set to get some more time in the spotlight after HBO and the league announced last week that the founding NFL franchise will be featured on “Hard Knocks” for the first time.

The Bears appear to be as deep as any team at wide receiver after acquiring Allen to join veteran DJ Moore and drafting Rome Odunze with the No. 9 overall pick. With two productive tight ends in Cole Kmet and Gerald Everett, Williams figures to have no shortage of targets.

Moore joked last month “it’s probably going to be a race to 1,000” yards. And Allen wasn't exactly backing away.

“I mean, obviously we both want to be successful,” he said. "We both want the ball. We’re both playmakers. So, it’s gonna be a race.”

Allen spent 11 seasons with the Chargers and ranks second in franchise history in receptions (904) and yards receiving (10,530). Since entering the league in 2013, he is third in receptions, sixth in yards and tied for 10th in receiving touchdowns (59). Allen made his sixth Pro Bowl last season, when he finished sixth in catches with 108 and 11th in yards with 1,243.

Now, he's starting over.

“As far as I’ve been here, it’s been nothing but love," Allen said. "It’s been beautiful. The golf is amazing, which I love to do. And the guys are amazing in the locker room as well. So it wouldn’t be hard to adjust to a city like this.”