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The Washington Football Team locked down two of their core players earlier this week. Both of them couldn't be happier about it.
"It's amazing to be able to stay home, especially playing for my hometown team, the team I grew up playing with," Logan Thomas said after Wednesday's practice. "I'm blessed beyond belief."
Thomas and Jonathan Allen started training camp with new deals, as they agreed to three- and four-year extensions, respectively. Both were well-deserved, considering how important they were to Washington's playoff push. The stability is great, but what makes it even sweeter for them is that it's coming from a team they grew up watching.
"Yeah, a hundred percent," Allen, who grew up in Ashburn, Virginia, said on whether signing with his hometown teams adds to the significance. "One of my goals since coming into the NFL is to play my entire career with one team. And even though this contract doesn't mean I'll be able to play my entire career here, it does make it more of a reality."
A first-round pick in 2017, Allen has consistently risen his performance over the past four seasons with 17 sacks and 202 tackles in his career. He saw the most defensive snaps of his career (803) in 2020 and led the team in pressures (50), quarterback hurries (34) and quarterback hits (13).
The deal, Allen said, provides a life-changing situation, and it means a lot that the team rewarded him for all the hard work he has put into his career with the burgundy and gold.
"I mean, it definitely feels good," Allen said. "So, I appreciate Coach Ron Rivera and [Senior Vice President of Football Administration] Rob Rogers in the Washington organization for giving me this opportunity. Now it's my job to go out there and prove them right."
Speaking of proving people right, Thomas did exactly that last season with 670 yards and six touchdowns after tight ends coach Pete Hoener vouched for him. It's been a long journey, he said, switching positions and being cut multiple times, but he always felt that he could play if someone gave him a chance.
Ironically, it was the team he grew up just a handful of miles away from that did, and Thomas remembers the early days when Washington was a powerhouse in the NFC. He's dedicated to bringing that notoriety back to the franchise.
"We understand what Washington is like," Thomas said of Allen and himself. "We understand the legacy of the old school or what it was in the 90's or early 2000s. Some of the struggles, some of the highs, the lows, we respect that. We want to see this program be the best it possibly can be for a long time."
Washington has already taken a big step to doing that by winning the NFC East in Rivera's first season. With all the additions the team has made, the future's looking bright. And because of their production, Thomas and Allen have ensured they'll be part of it.
"I'm ecstatic, I'm happy and I'm ready to play some football," Allen said