While the offseason headlines have been on coaching changes and a dramatically improved offensive line, the Atlanta Falcons will need to perform a magic act by keeping numerous Pro Bowl players under the cap. The team needs to worry about keeping Julio Jones, Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, and Austin Hooper together. All the preceding players should be signing top-five deals for their position, with many potentially setting the market.
Thomas Dimitroff was in a tough spot after deciding to exercise Vic Beasley’s fifth-year option and franchising Jarrett, totaling a one year cap hit of just over $28 million. For comparison, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones cost just a bit more than $29 million.
Dimitroff needs to get a multi-year deal done with Jarrett, and he has under one week left to do it. Teams have until July 15 at 4 pm to workout deals or else the player will play the rest of the year on their franchise tag. After that, no new deal can be worked out until next offseason, unless the Falcons plan to tag Jarrett again.
Knowing Jarrett is the first domino of many, Dimitroff needs to work some magic to keep the Pro Bowl defensive tackle on lower cap hits to keep the player extensions rolling. He only has days left to get a deal done. If something gets done, it will probably be within hours of the deadline.