Falcons Decide on Kaleb McGary, Chris Lindstrom’s Future

Falcons

Getty Chris Lindstrom #63 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons have officially picked up Chris Lindstrom’s fifth-year option, the team announced on Monday, May 2.

This means that the veteran guard will with Atlanta through at least the 2023 season and is set to make $13.202 million guaranteed that year.

As for Falcons’ offensive tackle Kaleb McGary, the team will not exercise his fifth-year option in 2022.

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 Lindstrom Snubbed of All-Pro Honors

Not only did Linstrom not receive a Pro Bowl invite this year following an impressive season, but he was also snubbed for All-Pro honors and received zero votes.

Lindstrom getting booted comes by surprise because, while the Falcons offensive line finished the season ranked 27th overall, Linstrom was the only guard across the entire league to allow zero sacks through 17 games.

Instead, Dallas Cowboys’ Zach Martin was named to The Associated Press 2021 All-Pro first team and Cleveland Browns’ Wyatt Teller earned Second-Team honors.

A perfect season didn’t come easy for Lindstrom, who lost his mom, Dawn, to cancer just before Week 16’s matchup against the Detroit Lions.

Matt Ryan was sacked three times against the Lions, but Lindstrom was not one to blame and the third-year guard was Pro Football Focus’s highest-graded offensive lineman in Week 16, earning a 92.5.

Linstrom, the Falcons’ 14th overall pick of the 2019 draft, has started a total of 38 games at right guard for Atlanta so far.


McGary Becomes a Free Agent in 2023

The Falcons also draft McGary in the first round, 31st overall, in the 2019 NFL Draft.

In the last two years, he has made 29 starts, but his overall production has decreased, giving the Falcons a reason to decline his fifth-year option.

In 2020, he finished with an overall PFF grade of 64.3 and allowed four sacks. His PFF grade fell to 62.8 in 2021, allowing nine of 40 sacks on Ryan.

Of course, McGary will have a chance to prove himself this season which could lead to a new deal and by the looks of his transformation, he’s taking things a bit more seriously.

But things won’t come easy for him after the Falcons added some competition for him in free agency by signing tackle Germain Ifedi and drafted Georgia offensive lineman Justin Shaffer over the weekend.

Ifedi, 27, was originally selected in the first round (31st overall) by the Seattle Seahawks in 2016 where he spent three seasons before heading to Chicago to play for the Bears. He started 23 of his 25 games during his time with the Bears, spending time at guard in 2020 before being moved to right tackle last fall, however, his 2021 season was cut short due to a knee injury in Week 5.

As for Shaffer, the Falcons drafted him in the fifth round (No. 190 overall) this past Saturday.

Shaffer played five seasons (2017-21) at Georgia where he appeared in 51 games with 27 starts. for the Dawgs. In 2021, the 6-foot-4, 314-pound offensive lineman started all 15 games at left guard for a national championship offense that averaged 190.9 rushing yards a game and earned himself second-team All-SEC honors.

Shaffer is a solid addition to a Falcons’ weak offensive line––especially at left guard––which allowed Matt Ryan to get sacked 40 times last season.

And a fun fact about Shaffer is that he joins his first cousin and former Western Kentucky outside linebacker, DeAngelo Malone, in Atlanta, who was drafted on day 2 by Atlanta.

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