atljbo Posted February 21, 2019 Share Posted February 21, 2019 https://theathletic.com/830826/2019/02/21/breaking-down-sambrailos-extension-what-it-means-for-falcons-offensive-line/ Breaking down Sambrailo’s extension, what it means for Falcons’ offensive line By Jason Butt It was unexpected for Ty Sambrailo to see as much playing time as he did during the final stretch of the 2018 season. Not long ago, Ryan Schraeder received a hefty contract to be the Falcons’ starting right tackle for the foreseeable future. But for whatever reason, Schraeder did not put in the kind of year the franchise expected. So during the final four games, the Falcons went with Sambrailo primarily at right tackle instead. Sambrailo played well, too. The Falcons won the final three games and saw the run game drastically improve during that span. It was the first time Sambrailo got significant game action since his NFL career began in Denver. As a former second-round draft pick in 2015, Sambrailo’s career didn’t get going the way he would have liked. Having dealt with upper body injuries early on, Sambrailo started only seven games with the Broncos. Struggling with his opportunities on the field, the Denver front office soured on Sambrailo after two seasons. The Falcons, meanwhile, figured they should take a chance and traded a 2018 fifth-round draft pick for him prior to the 2017 season. “I don’t think it’s any different than a lot of journeys that guys go on in the NFL,” Sambrailo told The Athletic in December. “Obviously, you want to be somewhere and stay somewhere, but it doesn’t always happen a lot. It’s just part of a job. I’m lucky I have a job here and that they traded for me. I’m happy to be a Falcon.” Head coach Dan Quinn said Sambrailo was on his radar back when he was coming out of Colorado State. Quinn went to Fort Collins, Colo., to work Sambrailo out prior to the 2015 draft. While Sambrailo didn’t work out in Denver, Quinn figured some new scenery might help him. “We thought this might be the right time for a guy with a fresh start in the program to get going,” Quinn said. “For him to be here, he’s been in a backup role, but when he’s been called upon, he’s performed well. He just kept improving as he was going in practice.” Now, it’s too early to tell whether Sambrailo’s performance during the end of the 2018 season could catapult his career from Denver bust to Atlanta mainstay. But the three-year contract extension Sambrailo signed earlier this week indicates that the Falcons’ front office will give him the chance to make that happen. Both Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have stated the need to improve the offensive line this offseason. Keeping Sambrailo was the first active move the franchise made in doing so. Per a league source, Sambrailo’s contract is valued at $14.25 million. There are two escalators that could come into play in 2020 and 2021, which is what potentially could drive the maximum amount of the contract upward to the previously reported figure of $18 million. If Sambrailo performs well and proves he can live up to his second-round status by becoming a starter, he will be able to earn most of the money on this deal. If he doesn’t, the risk from Atlanta’s side isn’t too great. Here is the breakdown of the three-year deal: Sambrailo received a $3 million signing bonus, which is prorated for three years. His base salary for the 2019 season will be $2 million. In each year, he is slated for a $250,000 roster bonus that is divided up per game. The total guaranteed amount is $6 million, and $5.25 million of his contract will be paid out in 2019. His cap number for 2019 is $3.25 million. In 2020, Sambrailo’s $4.5 million base salary with an escalator attached to it. His cap number for this year is $5.75 million. In 2021, Sambrailo’s base salary will be $4 million with an escalator attached to it. His cap number for the season is $5 million. If Sambrailo, 26, is able to earn a starting job and outperform the deal, the Falcons will be ecstatic. If he doesn’t, the Falcons would appear to only be on the hook for $1.25 million in dead money in each of the 2020 and 2021 seasons. As it turns out, it’s a good contract for both parties. At the same time, what does this mean for the rest of the offensive line? Also at right tackle, Schraeder will be looking to reclaim the starting job he lost during the 2018 season. Schraeder holds a $7.75 million cap figure for the 2019 season, which will be the third season of a five-year contract. Schraeder could be a candidate for a restructured contract if the Falcons feel like they need further cap relief. Earlier in the offseason, Quinn said he felt good only about left tackle and center. Left tackle Jake Matthews was given a healthy extension last preseason, and therefore his contract won’t be touched. Center Alex Mack is entering the fourth year of a five-year contract, which has him slated for a $10.8 million cap figure. Of that, $8.5 million is tied up in his base salary. Considering the Falcons don’t plan to move Mack, he could be a restructure candidate but likely only if the team gets desperate. The Falcons still need to figure out their best options at guard. Zane Beadles, brought in mid-year, has yet to be re-signed and is slated to hit free agency next month. Ben Garland isn’t expected back with the franchise, which was first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wes Schweitzer, entering the final year of his rookie deal, is expecting a big jump in base salary from $630,000 to $2 million. Brandon Fusco, who suffered a scary ankle injury, is expected to be back for the 2019 preseason. Fusco started seven games before heading to injured reserve. If Schraeder can return to form, perhaps Sambrailo could be in the mix at guard. But it appears more likely that the Falcons will turn to free agency and the draft to address that position. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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