Falcons Tender RFA Lineman: Agent

Matt Gono

Mark Brown/Getty Images Matt Gono #73 of the Atlanta Falcons lines up in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins on August 8, 2019.

On Monday the Atlanta Falcons reportedly placed a second-round tender on restricted free agent offensive tackle Matt Gono, which makes it highly likely that Gono will be back with the Falcons for the 2021 season.

The news came via a tweet from EnterSports Management, which represents the Wesley College product.

As such, Gono will earn a salary of $3.384 million in 2021. That is, unless Gono receives a better offer from another NFL team and the Falcons decide not to match it. In that case, the Falcons would receive a second-round draft pick as compensation.

Gono has appeared in 21 games over the course of his three NFL seasons. In 2020, he played in all 16 contests and made four starts—three at right tackle and one at left guard. By comparison, in 2019 Gono appeared in just five games, while in 2018 he was inactive for 15 games.

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Brandon Powell is Atlanta’s Other RFA

Meanwhile, the Falcons have yet to make a decision on wide receiver/kick returner Brandon Powell, 25, who contributed 12 catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns in 2020.

Like Gono, Powell has also appeared in 21 career games, during which time he has collected 23 receptions for 198 yards.

Per Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, the tender amounts for 2021 restricted free agents are as follows:

Meanwhile, the Falcons have more than a dozen unrestricted free agents who have already hit the open market, including safeties Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal. The Falcons have already indicated they will not re-sign Kazee, nor did they elect to franchise tag Neal.

As for Atlanta’s five exclusive rights free agents, the Falcons have signed all five, beginning with defensive tackle Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, followed by placekicker Younghoe Koo, wide receiver Christian Blake, cornerback Tyler Hall and tight end Jaeden Graham.

Last week the Falcons were also awarded three compensatory draft picks, two in the fifth round and one in the sixth. As a result, Atlanta currently has a total of nine draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.


Justin McCray Signs with Texans

In other news from Monday, multiple reports indicate that the Houston Texans are signing offensive lineman Justin McCray to a two-year, $4 million deal with additional money available in incentives.

McCray spent the 2020 season with the Falcons, appearing in 10 games with a pair of starts. He spent the 2019 campaign in Cleveland (four starts) after the Browns acquired him in a trade. He was with the Green Bay Packers in both 2017 and 2018, where he started a total of 13 games.

McCray entered the league with the Tennessee Titans, signing as an undrafted free agent out of Central Florida in 2014. He also played in the Arena Football League before hooking on with the Packers.

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