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Chargers lock up WR Keenan Allen with 4-year extension

Allen was off to the best start of his career before an injury derailed his season in 2015.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers signed wide receiver Keenan Allen to a four-year contract extension, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. His deal will pay him "north of $11 million per season," according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Allen was set to play in the final year of his rookie contract, and he was coming off an injury that forced him out of eight games last season.

Still, Allen was on fire before he sustained his season-ending injury, and was among the top receivers in the league at the time. Through just eight games, he had 67 receptions for 725 yards and four touchdowns. He was well on his way to setting a career best in all major receiving categories before suffering a kidney laceration.

A third-round pick in 2013, Allen became eligible for a contract extension this offseason. Some might consider it risky given his injuries and the fact that in three seasons he hasn't played a full 16 games, but if the Chargers really believe in him then this was the perfect time to get a deal done.

For the Chargers, it prevents Allen from pricing himself out of their range before hitting the open market with a monster 2016 season. For Allen, it gives him some nice security coming off a big injury. In three seasons, he has caught 215 passes for 2,554 yards with 16 touchdowns in 37 career games.

Allen's best season was his rookie year, when he caught 71 passes for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. He was the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year that season. Allen will be 24 when the 2016 season gets underway.