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Taylor Gabriel wants to be an Atlanta Falcon for life

Alternatively, he’s saying “thanks, but no thanks, Cleveland.”

Divisional Round - Seattle Seahawks v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

One of Atlanta’s many X-factors from last season wants to remain with the team “forever.” Taylor Gabriel broke out last season after he was picked up off of waivers from the Cleveland Browns. He quickly went from an afterthought to a centerpiece by midseason, and became one of Atlanta’s top targets outside of Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman.

We have been closely watching what Atlanta does with Gabriel. The team has a lot of money already tied up in Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, but they were able to tender Gabriel for a pretty decent salary. Still, the team will need to make a decision on his long-term position within the offense.

What does Gabriel think? Apparently he doesn’t want to go anywhere else.

This is great to see from Gabriel, and at least suggests he won’t be signing with whatever team can afford to pay him the most (Jacksonville Jaguars almost every time). Atlanta can’t afford to get into a bidding war, especially with Devonta Freeman and Desmond Trufant trying to get paid, and a potential Matt Ryan contract extension on the horizon.

The team will probably try wait to see what Gabriel can put together this season. He should have the opportunity to supplant Sanu as the WR2, but will need to prove he can stay healthy and consistent to earn a sizable contract. Gabriel could fall anywhere between DeSean Jackson and Antone Smith, so it’s reasonable to think Thomas Dimitroff will want to see his 2017 performance before committing big money to him.