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Falcons and DT Grady Jarrett agree to new deal just before deadline

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It’s finally done, and one of the team’s great defenders will be around for years to come.

After an eventful offseason of negotiations, the Atlanta Falcons have signed defensive tackle Grady Jarrett to a new contract. Just this morning Adam Schefter said a long-term deal was “unlikely,” before upgrading chances the two parties as “hopeful.”

Thomas Dimitroff needed Jarrett locked up to secure one of the top, young defensive linemen in the league, and then to turn his attention on the likes of Julio Jones, Deion Jones, and potentially Austin Hooper and Vic Beasley.

With plenty of questions about whether this deal would get done, it’s a huge relief to see Jarrett signing. The Falcons could not afford to lose their best defensive lineman and one of their best defensive players next season, not with so many contracts coming up.

After signing his franchise tag in April and eventually skipping OTAs, Grady Jarrett returned to the team for mandatory minicamp in early-June, which was likely an early sign that negotiations were headed in the right direction. Grady was due to have a $15.2M salary for the 2019 season because of the franchise tag, but we now expect that cap hit to drop at least a few million. The added cap space should allow the Falcons to get a deal done with Julio Jones.

It also opens the door to free agent moves, if the falcons want to make them. Final numbers should be in soon.

Despite the speculation all offseason, GM Thomas Dimitroff had always seemed confident that that a deal would get done. Atlanta’s biggest priority was extending Grady Jarrett long-term, and with him on board they have at least one elite defensive lineman heading into the 2020s. The Falcons will continue to have one of the best defensive tackles in football as the leader of a deep, stronger group at the position, and hopefully Jarrett will be part of a resurgent defense in 2019.

UPDATE: July 15th 3:55 PM

We now know that the deal includes 42.5 million in guarantees.