With free agency just around the corner and the Atlanta Falcons nary linked to a soul outside of the organization, we’re all beginning to get a bit antsy about how this might go with the cap what it is.
Teams maneuver around tight cap space all the time, but the Falcons are still in the negative right now and don’t look poised to make too much noise due to salary cap concerns.
Unless the team cuts DE Dante Fowler or DT Tyeler Davison, contract restructures are going to be the way to go to clear space. Basically, if you restructure someone’s contract in the NFL, you rework the money as to lessen the cap hit in one season and move to paying it down the road. It might not be ideal for you two or three years from now when the note is due, but it helps in the interim make sure players still get paid and teams can negotiate tough cap constraints.
It’s never a player’s preferred option, of course, but great players restructure their deals to help their teams out all the time. We assume the Falcons will do this with some top players on the roster (Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Jake Matthews, Deion Jones). One obvious candidate, though, hasn’t yet gotten approached by the organization, per The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz.
Falcons, in need of salary cap relief, haven't yet approached DT Grady Jarrett about contract restructure or extension. He's an ideal candidate for either. Jarrett's $20.833 mil cap 2021 hit is third highest on team behind Matt Ryan ($40.9m), Julio Jones ($23.05m) @TheAthletic— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzATL) March 11, 2021
This isn’t to say that they won’t eventually restructure Grady Jarrett’s deal, but it’s something to note that no effort has been made yet.
We aren’t really sure how Terry Fontenot is going to make free agency happen in a big way with so much money already going to guys on the roster, and it stands to reason a big way the Falcons will get back into contention is to maximize the money already being spent.
We aren’t really sure how next week will go, which is pretty fun but also nervy. The team is undoubtedly going to sign a handful of players within the first week because the roster demands it, but they’ll probably just be mid-tier guys unless the front office has a surprise or two in store.
We’ll keep tabs on the restructure situation and let you know if Jarrett’s gets reworked. It’d be a good boost for now, but this version of the team might be willing to play with few numbers now to prevent a situation like this from happening in the future.