While the Falcons just picked up Chris Lindstrom’s fifth-year contract option, they declined to do so for fellow 2019 first rounder Kaleb McGary. That makes the 2022 season a contract year for McGary, who will be hoping to show the Falcons and other teams around the league that he’s ready to land a big-money second contract.
The news was reported by ESPn’s Jeremy Fowler, who also broke the news of Lindstrom’s option.
The Falcons are not picking up the fifth-year option of right tackle Kaleb McGary, per source. So, OG Chris Lindstrom locked up by Atlanta for 2023, while McGary set to be a free agent next year.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 2, 2022
McGary has started 46 of a possible 49 games over the past three seasons and has some some great ones in that time, but he has not blossomed into a consistent above average starter the way Lindstrom has. The Falcons signaled they intend to give him some legitimate competition this year by bringing in veteran Germain Ifedi, a long-time starter at right tackle for the Seahawks and Bears. A year ago, McGary allowed nine sacks per Pro Football Focus, and his pass protection is the area of his game that will need to improve most to have him stick around in Atlanta. He is consistently a solid run blocker, however, and should be an asset on that front for a team that is going to be leaning on its rushing attack a lot in 2022.
The Falcons will see if he can enjoy a career year in his fourth season and will likely be glad to pay up on a second contract if he delivers major improvement, but if that doesn’t happen they’ll be in the market for a new right tackle in 2022 and McGary will be looking for a new team. Ifedi will push McGary during the summer, and we’ll see how the position shakes out and whether McGary brings his game to the next level this season.