On Tuesday, the Atlanta Falcons announced that they have officially signed five out of their nine 2021 NFL Draft rookies.
By trading Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans, the Falcons were able to save a total of $15.3 million for the season, giving them enough cap space to sign the rookies.
The players who inked their rookie deals include offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield, defensive lineman Ta’Quan Graham, linebacker Adetokunbo Ogundeji, cornerback Avery Williams, and wideout Frank Darby.
The deals are for four years and are projected to range from $5.2 million for Mayfield to $3.6 million for Darby, per Spotrac.
Tight end Kyle Pitts, safety Richie Grant, offensive lineman Drew Dalman, and cornerback Darren Hall remained unsigned at this point.
Pitts, the Falcons’ first-round pick at No. 4 overall, is not alone as the 2021 top QB draft selections, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance, have not signed their deals either.
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Atlanta Falcons Official Signings
-Jaylen Mayfield was selected in the third round (68th overall). A six-foot-five, 328-pound offensive lineman, he played three years at Michigan, appearing in 18 games with 15 starts.
-Ta’Quan Graham was drafted in the fifth round (148th overall). The six-foot-four and 294-pound defensive lineman played 48 career games with 24 starts in four seasons at Texas. Last season, Graham started all nine games and recorded 23 tackles, including seven for a loss, 2.0 sacks, two QB hits and one fumble recovery.
-Adetokunbo Ogundeji out of the Univesity of Notre Dame went in the sixth round (182nd overall). The six-foot-four, 268-pound outside linebacker played in 43 games in four seasons for the Irish. In that time span, he recorded 80 tackles, including 17 for a loss, 13.0 sacks, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
-Avery Williams also went in the sixth round (183rd overall). The five-foot-nine, 195 pounds, cornerback and return specialist played in 48 games at Boise State. In four seasons, he posted 152 career tackles, 26 passes defensed, four interceptions and five fumble recoveries. As a special teamer, Williams recorded 38 kick returns for 1,042 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 82 punt returns for 948 yards and six TDs.
-Frank Darby, another sixth-round pick (187th overall), stands at six-foot-one, 200 pounds. He saw action in 40 career games at Arizona State where he reeled in 67 receptions for 1,317 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Kyle Pitts’ Estimated Contract Deal
Spotrac estimates that Pitts will sign a contract deal of $32.9 million with a $21.3 million signing bonus. He also has an estimated cap hit of $5.9 million for this season. His contract will last four years with a fifth-year option.
If the Falcons decided to pick up Pitts’ fifth-year contract, they will own him earn another $5.4-$9.6 million. That number could spike by then if the NFL bounces back from the pandemic.
Pitts already has a lot of pressure heading into his rookie year and if he can stay healthy and live up to high expectations, a long-term deal worth a lot more could be waiting on him.
The Falcons should sign Pitts and the rest of the crew within the never few days.
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