Barely an hour away from this year’s deadline, the Falcons and Grady Jarrett have a new deal in place. Jarrett agreed to a four-year, $68MM deal to stay in Atlanta, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
Momentum built in the past 24 hours on the Jarrett front, and he becomes the second franchise-tagged player to agree to an extension Monday. Robbie Gould and the 49ers agreed to terms earlier today, leaving only Jadeveon Clowney without a deal. Jarrett, 26, has been a full-time starter for the Falcons since his second season. He would have made $15.2MM this year on the tag.
Jarrett’s $17MM-per-year average is well off Aaron Donald‘s benchmark for defensive tackles, but considering the disparities between the interior defenders’ profiles, that was to be expected. However, agent Todd France got his client on the same level as four-time Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox, whose 2016 extension averages $17.1MM annually. Jarrett is now NFL’s third-highest-paid interior defender.
Although Jarrett has zero Pro Bowls in four seasons and just 14 sacks in that span (not counting his three-sack Super Bowl LI), the Falcons have long acknowledged the former fifth-round pick’s immense value to their defense. Jarrett produced 15 tackles for loss in 2017 and graded as a top-10 interior defender last season, per Pro Football Focus. He registered a career-high six sacks and 16 quarterback hits in 2018.
Arthur Blank said earlier this year he wanted Jarrett to join Julio Jones and Deion Jones as “Falcons for life.” The team has secured a key item off its offseason checklist and can now turn its attention to the Joneses.
This continues a productive offseason for franchise-tagged performers. Jarrett, Gould, Donovan Smith, Dee Ford, DeMarcus Lawrence and Frank Clark agreed to extensions after being tagged in March. Clowney, who has already played a fifth-year option season, is set to play yet another year without a long-term agreement in place.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.