The Atlanta Falcons stayed very silent in free agency this year, but it appears to have been their plan all along. The team just broke off Julio Jones with a little more 2018 money, gave Jake Matthews a $75 million deal, and they don’t plan on stopping.
Up next are two of Atlanta’s top performing, young defensive players.
When the #Falcons adjusted WR Julio Jones’ deal, they made sure they could still reward LT Jake Matthews, DT Grady Jarrett and S Ricardo Allen. Now that Matthews & ATL have agreed to terms, Allen & Jarrett are next. Big moves early in camp for the #Falcons— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 27, 2018
There were serious concerns that Julio Jones would demand cash allocated to other players. The Falcons are obviously working to keep their own players, and per Rapsheet, they seem very confident they can do it.
I have been skeptical they can keep Ricardo Allen, but it looks like they will make it work. Grady Jarrett is absolutely about to sign a monster deal. Defensive tackles have been signing huge deals, and Jarrett is one of the league’s best, young tackles.
The numbers on the Jake Matthews deal should be out soon. He was scheduled to make just under $12.5 million on a fifth-year option, with the entire cap hit in 2018. It is a safe bet that he signed a sizable signing bonus and has a low base salary this year, dropping that cap hit a good bit. Allen and Jarrett have much smaller cap hits this year, so Matthews is likely creating space this year to fit Allen and Jarrett.
When was the last time the Falcons had so much homegrown talent that we wondered how the team would keep everyone?