Goober Pyle Posted July 9, 2019 Share Posted July 9, 2019 https://theathletic.com/1069459/2019/07/09/falcons-should-be-busy-as-grady-jarretts-contract-deadline-nears/ Grady Jarrett doesn’t come across as the type of player who would hold out during training camp. If he was, he probably wouldn’t have signed a franchise tender worth $15.2 million for this upcoming season. The sheer symbol of signing the franchise tender back in April indicates Jarrett will take part in training camp regardless of what happens during the next week in negotiations for a new contract. In fact, while Jarrett trained on his own during organized team activities, he was on site for mandatory minicamp, even if he wasn’t participating in drills. A new deal for Jarrett is twofold: It locks up a high-caliber player while providing immediate cap relief to a team looking to contend for a deep playoff run in 2019. Jarrett and the Falcons have until 4 p.m. Monday to reach an agreement on a new contract. If they are unable to, Jarrett will operate his fifth season in Atlanta under the franchise tag number. Jarrett has earned his keep with the organization. During the past four years, Jarrett has compiled 95 tackles and 14 career sacks. He notched a career-best six sacks as an interior pass rusher in 2018. If not for an unforeseen collapse in Super Bowl LI, Jarrett might have been named the game’s MVP with three sacks against the New England Patriots. Jarrett once will again anchor the defensive line this season. Takk McKinley, Adrian Clayborn and Vic Beasley will work on the defensive line’s edges. Jarrett will work inside with Jack Crawford and Tyeler Davison, a free-agent signee the Falcons have been high on all offseason. Whether it’s under a pricey franchise tag or with a lucrative long-term contract, Jarrett certainly will look to prove he’s worth the money he will be earning. “I try to increase every year,” Jarrett said during minicamp. “I always try to outdo myself year to year and find things to work on, whether it’s in the run game or the pass game. I feel like there is still a lot out there for me. I don’t know if I’ve even scratched the surface of where I want to be as a player. I’m challenging myself day in and day out to be the best player I can be.” General manager Thomas Dimitroff previously said signing Jarrett is a priority for the team. Arthur Blank has described Jarrett as a “Falcon for life.” At some point, it’s easy to assume a deal will get done between the two sides. Will it be by deadline Monday? Or will it have to wait until next year? If a deal is done by Monday If the Falcons are able to knock out a deal for Jarrett by the deadline, it would do more than ensure that Jarrett will be in the organization’s plans for the foreseeable future. In addition to keeping Jarrett in the fold, Atlanta would experience a cap savings of some sort. At the present time, the Falcons have only $6.7 million in salary cap space. To reduce the 2019 cap number, the Falcons would give Jarrett a hefty signing bonus to be prorated for the duration of the contract. The year-one salary then would be much lower than the subsequent seasons. When Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald signed his lucrative $135 million extension last year, the first season cap hit was $8.9 million. This year, Donald’s cap number jumps to $17.1 million. If the Falcons gave Jarrett a similarly structured contract — not necessarily one that matches the value — they could save a potential $6 or $7 million this season or maybe even more. The Falcons then could get the ball rolling on receiver Julio Jones’ deal, which, while it hasn’t happened yet, is all but certain to occur in the near future. Atlanta is seemingly in win-now mode. There looks to be enough talent on both sides of the ball to get back to the postseason. If the team can lock up Jarrett within the next week and then focus its efforts on Jones, there should add some cap savings to potentially bring in another veteran contributor. Considering how many injuries Atlanta suffered last year, teams can never have enough quality players on a roster. If a deal isn’t done It would be a complete shock for Jarrett not to show up to training camp if a deal isn’t done by the deadline. As mentioned, Jarrett signed his franchise tender. There was no reason to do that if he didn’t plan to show up for the preseason. Where not getting a deal done would hurt comes with the lack of additional cap relief. If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, talks essentially would go on hold as Jarrett plays the 2019 season under the $15.2 million tender. The Falcons then would be on the hook for the full amount without the ability to reduce the number. For quite some time, the two sides have been far apart on striking a deal. Perhaps that changes as the deadline nears. If the Falcons aren’t able to ink Jarrett to a long-term deal, they still will work on getting one done with Jones, who feasibly could earn up to $20 million per year and be the NFL’s highest-paid receiver. The league’s current highest-paid receiver is Cleveland’s Odell Beckham Jr., who is earning an average of $18 million per season. But when Beckham’s former team, the New York Giants, structured his deal, the first year had only a $5.5 million cap hit. If a deal isn’t reached with Jarrett, the Falcons still can find cap relief this year with Jones’ extension. And when that number balloons in 2020, a future contract with Jarrett would — with some glass-half-full thinking — offset Jones’ cap hit in the first year. If Jarrett and Jones receive new deals this year, both figure to be on the books for large cap figures in 2020. The good news for Atlanta is that no matter what happens during the next week, Jarrett and Jones are expected to attend training camp and play out the 2019 season. Both players will play vital roles as Atlanta looks to rebound from what was, by everyone’s estimation, a disappointing 2018 campaign. It’s now a matter of whether Atlanta can use the next six days to nail down a long-term contract for Jarrett. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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