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ESPN: Ricardo Allen “expected” to receive contract extension before season

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We were expecting the Atlanta Falcons to prioritize Grady Jarrett and Jake Matthews, which makes this news even more surprising.

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons have to make some tough decisions coming up. Two major factors will mean some great players eventually leave the team: an increasingly tight cap, and a huge number of players that rightly deserve contract extensions. The Falcons have built one of the most talented teams in the league, but will have to pay for it when contract extensions come up.

The popular thinking was the Falcons would look to give both Grady Jarrett and Jake Matthews big money deals, as both players have no realistic replacement and play premium positions. Falcons fans don’t need to be reminded how hard it is to find a starting left tackle or defensive tackle.

Ricardo Allen is one of the league’s best young safeties, but the presence of Damontae Kazee made us think Allen might be paid elsewhere. We were wrong, per Vaughn McClure.

Parker listed as a free safety but Falcons very happy with starter Ricardo Allen, who is expected to get a contract extension before the season after signing RFA tender. Keanu Neal is a rising star at strong safety. Depth again is key.

Hat tip to Falcons Reddit for being the only people who clicked “read more” on Vaughn’s source tweet on the Ron Parker signing.

The Falcons handed Matt Ryan a record-breaking contract, and Julio Jones is currently clamoring for a pay bump. The team also needs to keep their eyes on the future, with guys like Vic Beasley and Deion Jones likely looking at big paydays.

If Allen gets a new deal, it likely pushes out one quality veteran. If Allen has bumped up in extension priority, it could mean contract negotiations with another player are not going well. If, for instance, Matthews is trying to break the bank, the team may put that money elsewhere and look for a new tackle in the 2019 NFL draft.