Keenan Allen is ready to form a dynamic duo with DJ Moore, help Bears no matter who their QB is

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Keenan Allen is looking forward to giving the Chicago Bears a dynamic tandem at wide receiver with DJ Moore and working with whoever the quarterback is next season.

It won't be Justin Fields after the Bears traded him to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It could be Caleb Williams if they draft the USC star with the No. 1 overall pick.

“I’m a friendly guy on and off the field," Allen said Saturday, two days after the Bears acquired the six-time Pro Bowler from the Los Angeles Chargers for a fourth-round pick. "Obviously on the football field, I know the game. I know the ins and outs, I know the zones, I know how to beat man, I know pretty much how to play the game. I just think I’m friendly for the quarterback because I’ll be in the right spots. I know how to communicate with him and my body language is solid, too.”

The 31-year-old Allen joins a team that seems serious about winning again. The Bears went 7-10 in their third straight losing season.

But there's a big buzz surrounding the team, particularly with the No. 1 pick and the potential to draft the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner.

“Hell of an athlete,” Allen said of Williams. “Obviously, he can make tremendous plays with his feet, with his arm. Looks like he knows the game really well. Really good.”

The Bears have the top pick because they acquired Carolina's first-rounder in the trade for Moore a year ago — and the Panthers finished with a league-worst 2-15 record. Allen said he met Williams once and came away impressed, describing him as a “down-to-earth, chill guy.”

Allen has played his entire 11-year career 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 was leading the NFL in receptions through Week 14 last season, but he missed the final four games because of an ankle injury. He finished sixth with 108 catches and 11th in yards with 1,243.

Allen is entering the final season of a four-year contract extension he signed in 2020. He said he hopes to remain in Chicago in the long term, but he and the Bears are "just kind of taking it one day at a time. Got one year left and we’ll see what happens.”

Allen said at the end of last season that he hoped to spend his entire career with the Chargers. But when they asked him to take a pay cut or restructure his contract, he made his feelings clear.

“I'm not doing it,” said Allen, who already had restructured his contract last season, with most of his base salary converted to a roster bonus to give the Chargers more flexibility. “I just came off my best season, so it's not happening.”

The Chargers were $21 million over the cap at the start of free agency. Besides trading Allen, they released wide receiver Mike Williams, while linebackers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack agreed to restructure their contracts.

Allen said the New York Jets and Houston Texans also were interested in acquiring him.

Chicago hasn't finished with a winning record since the 2018 NFC North championship season. But Allen likes the potential of its offense, regardless of who the quarterback is.

The Bears have a new coordinator in Shane Waldron and added running back D’Andre Swift and former Chargers tight end Gerald Everett in free agency. They now boast what figures to be a dynamic duo at wide receiver.

“We can be really special," Allen said. "We 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. I think we can use that as our advantage. Having a running back that can come out of the backfield and make plays and beat one-on-ones, that’s kind of big.”

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL