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Keenan Allen, Chargers talking about possible new deal

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The San Diego Chargers are looking to lock up Keenan Allen to a long-term contract, a deal that could cause a trickle-down effect on the wide receiver market.

According to multiple sources briefed on the matter, Allen and the Chargers have been discussing a possible four- or five-year contract extension that is poised to keep the 2013 third-round pick with the Bolts for years to come.

Allen, who recently turned 24, put up 215 receptions for 2,554 yards and 16 touchdowns over his first three seasons. He injured his collarbone late in the 2014 season causing him to miss a pair of games, while a kidney issues cost him eight games in 2015.

Even in that shortened eight-game season, though, Allen was showing signs of a budding star that first emerged during a dynamic rookie campaign. In just half a year, Allen was targeted almost 90 times and already had four touchdowns. His value to veteran quarterback Philip Rivers has been clear.

The deal is interesting in that it could break the door open for some other wide receiver contracts currently in negotiation. Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is also primed for a payday after a 76-catch, 1,135-yard season during Denver's Super Bowl run a season ago.

Should the Chargers sign Allen in the coming weeks -- there is no indication on exactly how close the deal is, or if it would get done before training camp -- it would mark the second time in as many years that the team struck a deal before the summer break heading into training camp. On June 9, 2015, the Chargers announced an extension with 2011 first-round pick Corey Liuget.

San Diego has roughly $12 million in salary-cap space. Allen is set to become a free agent after the 2016 season.

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