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Ricardo Allen signs three-year, $19.5 million extension with the Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are aggressively keeping their core players, including Ricky.

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

We spent most of the last season expecting the Atlanta Falcons to let Ricardo Allen leave in free agency after the 2018 season. They are just out of cash, especially with the Grady Jarrett extension looming.

We were wrong. The Falcons kept Allen, and based on the numbers, really wanted to keep him in red and black. Luckily there was a little foreshadowing today.

The extension was indeed on the way.

The extension should mean Allen is locked up through 2021, with his tender of $2.9 million remaining this season. We will update if contract numbers come out making this inaccurate. That should put Allen at an average of $5.6 million across the next four years.

If Allen is making the $5.6 million across the next four years, that actually makes him surprisingly affordable compared to other veteran safeties. There are 16 (!) safeties averaging more per year, ranging from Eric Berry’s $13 million average, down to $6 to $6.5 million average paid out to Jaquiski Tartt, Eric Weddle, Glover Quinn, and T.J. McDonald.

While the safety market has been slow to develop this offseason, Allen is one of the league’s best, young defensive backs. He has improved every year under Dan Quinn, and definitely deserved to get paid.