Kaleb McGary is coming off a career-best season where he was a mauling blocker for Atlanta’s resurgent ground game and a pretty solid option in pass protection, as well. The open question all these months was whether that would be enough to spur the Falcons to re-sign him, and the answer is yes.
Per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Falcons have locked up McGary on a three year deal for a total of $34.5 million. Given the massive contracts that have been handed out to offensive linemen thus far, it’s a minor miracle that the annual average on this deal is going to come in at such a manageable number, and a credit to both sides for finding a deal before free agency opened.
Source: Kaleb McGary is signing back with the Falcons on a 3 year $34.5M deal.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2023
Maybe that’s owing to the fact that this was McGary’s best year and there was some leeriness over handing him a huge contract, or maybe he simply wanted to be back in Atlanta and took a little bit of a haircut (not a literal one, those locks are magnificent) to get it done. Regardless of the reason, this is a deal worth celebrating if McGary can continue to play at the level he did in 2022, which seems like a reasonable expectation over the next three seasons.
Last year, McGary was one of the key pieces of a line that blocked exceptionally well for Tyler Allgeier, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Caleb Huntley, and that part of his game should be expected to be rock solid going forward. Even when he was scuffling early on in his career in Atlanta, he was a pretty reliable run blocker, and that was not something most of his linemates could say. The bigger question is whether he can hold up in pass protection, given how uneven he has been in his career to this point, but the hope is that he can be at least solid in that regard. The Falcons will certainly take elite run blocking and capable pass pro from McGary, especially on a deal that doesn’t break the bank, and I do like McGary’s chances of providing both.
The Falcons now likely have four of their five starting linemen in place, with Jake Matthews at left tackle, Chris Lindstrom newly signed to a megadeal at right guard, Drew Dalman expected to start again at center, and McGary back at right tackle. With a solid starter at left guard, this figures to once again be an elite run blocking unit and hopefully one that can keep Desmond Ridder relatively clean, and McGary will be a big piece of the puzzle.
Give him a warm welcome back to Atlanta, if you would.