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Falcons pick up Chris Lindstrom’s 5th year option

The team’s best young offensive lineman isn’t going anywhere.

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets - NFL London Games 2021 - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

Chris Lindstrom wasn’t the most popular or expected pick at No. 14 in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but he has proven to be a great one. After an injury wiped out most of his rookie season, Lindstrom has settled in as one of the best young guards in football, locking down the right guard position for Atlanta and providing the team with a consistent bright spot on a line that’s been pretty bleak over the past three seasons.

The Falcons presumably would like to keep Lindstrom around as long as possible, given his excellence, and they took an important first step in that direction by picking up his fifth-year option. That means Lindstrom will be under contract for a pretty reasonable $13.2 million in 2023, assuming the team doesn’t work out a long-term extension with him before next season.

Obviously, this was a no-brainer. Lindstrom ranked 6th among all guards by Pro Football Focus’s metrics a year ago, and miraculously did not allow a single sack on an offensive line that seemed to take finding creative ways to get Matt Ryan sacked on as a new hobby. He’s stone solid in run blocking and excellent in pass protection, and he just turned 25 in February. There are few guards in football that I’d rather have at the moment, and the Falcons owe it to themselves and whoever ends up playing quarterback for them over the long haul to keep Lindstrom around.

The question marks on this offensive line—indeed, this roster—are plentiful. Happily, right guard isn’t one of them, and it’s great to know Lindstrom’s going to be around for a while.