Grady Jarrett is staying in red and black for at least three more years.
As mentioned by Rapoport, the Falcons kill two birds with one stone: They lower their cap space to sign rookies and get to keep their star defender around for a bit longer.
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Falcons Were Pushing to Keep Jarrett
The Falcons were pushing to keep Jarrett in Atlanta all along.
Franchise owner Arthur Blank appeared on Atlanta’s 92.9 The Game’s Dukes and Bell show in March 2022 where he discussed Grady’s future with the team.
“Absolutely, we love Grady. He’s a great leader, great player. Grady makes the whole thing better,” Blank said. “So, we’re working hard to try and make that happen.
“But we’re also being thoughtful about it because you don’t want to put yourself back into the same situation that we just got out of [Matt Ryan’s massive cap hits]. But we love Grady.”
Jarrett is set to 29 at the start of the 2022 season and the Falcons’ front office understood that he could have wanted to look in the direction of another team that isn’t in the process of a full rebuild as he enters his 30s.
Jarrett Has Been With the Falcons Since 2015
Former Falcons’ general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn went out of their way to select Jarrett in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Falcons traded two draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings to move up in the third round to snag the Clemson product.
As a rookie, Jarrett saw action in 15 games and finished the season with 24 tackles, four tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, and one sack.
The following year, Jarrett played all 16 games, starting 14. He ended the 2016 season with 48 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, nine quarterback hits, and three sacks. He also played a big part in the Falcons’ Super Bowl LI trip and Jarrett sacked Tom Brady three times to tie th record for most sacks in a single Super Bowl game.
He started all 16 games again in 2017, logging a career-high 55 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, and four sacks. Jarrett managed to top those numbers in 2018 and finished the season with career-highs in both sacks and forced fumbles, with 6 and 3.
Ahead of the 2019 season, Atlanta placed the franchise tag on Jarrett and he signed a four-year, $68 million contract extension, which lingers today. Jarrett logged his best year yet with a career-high 7.5 sacks and 69 tackles, along with 11 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles. He was also invited to his first Prop Bowl and named second-team All-Pro. He then earned his second Pro Bowl in 2020 after finishing the season recording four more sacks and 52 tackles.
Jarrett managed just one sack last season with 59 combined tackles, 12 quarterback hits and a fumble recovery. While his sack production declined under new defensive coordinator Dean Pees, Jarrett still remains a valuable asset to the Falcons’ young defense and trading him away, rather than extending him, would have been another project for Atlanta who would have had to find an equal replacement.
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