The Buffalo Bills were once again in the market for a new backup quarterback for superstar Josh Allen after Case Keenum signed a two-year deal to return to the Houston Texans just hours after the NFL’s official free agency tampering period opened on Monday, March 16.
Just two days later, the Bills made the move to sign Allen’s real-life best friend with the same surname, Kyle Allen. The 27-year-old, who spent last year with the Houston Texans, spends the offseason training alongside the Bills star, and the two vacation together with their significant others, so having great chemistry in the quarterbacks’ room, a paramount factor for Josh, should not be an issue.
During his first press conference as a member of the Bills on Thursday, March 16, Allen was asked whether Josh played a part in getting him to Buffalo, something which former Bills wide receiver and close friend of the quarterback, Tanner Gentry, readily admitted to. However, the former undrafted quarterback says the reverse happened.
“I think Josh is at the top of the list,” he said. “Not only is he a good friend, but just from a quarterback standpoint around the entire NFL, he’s one of the best in the league. And he does it the right way. There’s a bunch of other factors, too.
“I’ve really respected this franchise over my career in the NFL. We’ve played them probably three or four times. It’s been just a tough, hard-nosed game every time. We’ve played in Buffalo too. Just the energy in the stadium, the fans, and how tough it is to come in here and win. I just wanted to be a part of something like that.”
Allen said of his pitch to Josh, “I didn’t have to pitch much,” he said with a huge smile. “I’m probably gonna beat him in golf now, that’s about it.’ But the NFL journeyman, who’s also spent time with the Carolina Panthers and Washington Commanders over the past five seasons, said Buffalo was “always a target going into the offseason… There’s so many people on the market, so it was more just letting things shake out and then it happened pretty quickly yesterday.”
Of course, general manager Brandon Beane wouldn’t have signed Allen without discussing the move with Josh, who must’ve given his buddy a full endorsement. “When we get ready to make a decision, though, I definitely clue him in on the thought process,” Beane said at the NFL Combine last month. “And he and I see things generally pretty similar. But he’ll shoot me straight if there’s something he thinks I miss.”
While transitioning from training mates to teammates may be difficult, Allen isn’t worried. “I think just the competitiveness, we feed off of each other. Everything he does in life is very competitive… so I think that’ll push both of us.” In 23 game appearances and 19 starts throughout his career, Allen has passed for 4,734 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions.
Allen Offered Josh the Highest Praise While Calling Him a ‘Selfish Roomate’
“I think the fit’s great,” Allen said of how he’ll mix with the Bills’ offense. “I think when you watch Josh and this offense, he can only do that. No one else in the league is gonna do that… When you really break down the plays, when he’s not shaking guys off and throwing hail marys, it’s an exceptional offense. It’s really fun to watch.”
As for how they become so close, “We both came out of college some year and we trained together for the draft, so we lived together for a while. As a roommate, however, Allen calls him “pretty selfish,” mentioning how Josh took the master bedroom with “the best shower,” so he and two others had to share the other one bathroom.
Joking aside, Allen, who noted he’ll be wearing an initial on his Bills jersey, said Josh is just a great man. “Obviously, the physical is apparent but the kind of person he is… how much he cares about the community, teammates, family. I think that just radiates off of him. as a leader of the franchise, that’s all you’d want.”
Allen Understands the Assignment as Josh’s Backup
Despite being a dual a true dual-threat quarterback, Josh has proved to be extremely durable and hasn’t missed a start since his rookie season. No one is looking at Allen as a top backup option looking to compete for the starting role and he knows that.
When asked if Josh will help him learn the offensive playbook, Allen said, “For sure,” but noted he’s there for the opposite role. “I’m just here to support him in any way I can. I think our relationship over the past six years, we’re super close. We’re boys. Same with [Matt] Barkley and him,” the third-stringer the Bills signed to a futures/reserve contract after the 2022 NFL season ended. “They’re boys.”
“I think that we can really help him and have real conversations with him and he can respect our opinions… I think the respect is fully there all around the room.”