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Grady Jarrett signs franchise tag

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Falcons’ DT Grady Jarrett has signed his franchise tag, guaranteeing his $15.2M salary for the 2019 season. Jarrett and the Falcons still have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal.

New York Giants v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

There are just a few more days before the 2019 NFL Draft, and things are starting to get interesting around Flowery Branch. While there has been ample speculation about where the Falcons will go with their first pick (and others), Atlanta appears to be moving closer to locking up Grady Jarrett long-term. The Falcons announced on Monday evening that the star defensive tackle had signed his franchise tag.

By signing his tag, Jarrett’s $15.2M salary becomes fully guaranteed for 2019. However, the Falcons continue to work towards signing Jarrett to a long-term contract. As the franchise tag is a one-year deal, all $15.2M of Jarrett’s salary counts towards the cap. The Falcons are in a bit of a tight spot currently, with just $2.73M in space available heading into the 2019 NFL Draft.

OverTheCap projects that Atlanta will need approximately $8.09M in cap space just to sign their rookies. The Falcons should receive some relief post-June 1st (around $4M or so), but that still leaves the team in a difficult spot. A long-term deal for Jarrett could feasibly free up enough space for Atlanta to sign their rookies, along with the obvious benefit of locking up one of the pillars of the defensive line for years to come.

Despite speculation that the Falcons secretly want to move on from Jarrett, GM Thomas Dimitroff has maintained all offseason that Atlanta’s biggest priority is extending Jarrett long-term. We’ll see if the team and Jarrett can come to an agreement prior to the July 15 deadline. If not, Jarrett will have to play on the tag until the team can negotiate with him again in 2020.

What are your thoughts on Jarrett playing on the tag? Do you think the Falcons can sign him to an extension prior to July 15?