A.J. Terrell has gone from controversial draft selection to widely-lauded cornerback in Atlanta, and is one of the cornerstone defenders for the Falcons. Given that he’s entering his fourth year in the league and as a first round pick the team had to make a decision on his fifth year option, and given that he’s an excellent player, you might have expected the Falcons to pick up that option.
Let’s save the drama: They did just that, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports.
Two more: The #49ers picked up the option for WR Brandon Aiyuk, the #Falcons did the same for AJ Terrell. https://t.co/L5ZBNGjDBP— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 28, 2023
Terrell, the last great pick for Thomas Dimitroff’s front office, went through an up-an-down rookie season but blossomed in year two, turning heads as one of the better young cover corners in the NFL. Despite injury taking a bite out of the 2022 season, Terrell still had a fine year, and is both young and very good. He’s locked in as the team’s top cornerback for the long haul, and while the team will have to work out a long-term contract to ensure that, he’s now under contract for 2023 and 2024 with no fuss and a hefty $18 million cap hit for the 2024 season unless they get that long-term deal done.
Jeff Okudah and Mike Hughes have been imported to this cornerback group with Casey Hayward and Isaiah Oliver exiting, so things are a little unsettled there outside of Terrell. Picking up the fifth-year option and ensuring one of their best defenders is here the next two seasons was an absolute no-brainer move, and having some stability and high-level play from your top corner is worth every penny.