Chris Lindstrom

Falcons, OG Chris Lindstrom Agree To Extension

Atlanta has just acquired a new playmaker on offense, but one of the unit’s top players will remain in place for years to come. Right guard Chris Lindstrom has agreed to terms on a “mega-extension,” per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (Twitter link). The team has confirmed the deal.

Providing terms on the deal, Fowler’s colleague Adam Schefter tweets that it is a five-year pact worth $105MM. The former first-rounder was set to play on the fifth-year option in 2023, but he will now be on the books for the foreseeable future as the league’s highest-paid interior o-lineman. SI’s Albert Breer adds that the contract includes $63MM in guaranteed money (Twitter link).

The $21MM annual average value of this deal puts the 26-year-old slightly ahead of Colts left guard Quenton Nelson, who last offseason became the only non-left tackle in NFL history to eclipse the $20MM-per-season mark. The fifth-year option on Lindstrom’s deal carries a value of $13.2MM. This new pact may be aimed at lowering that figure slightly, though Atlanta entered the offseason in better financial shape than most teams.

Lindstrom was the 14th overall pick in the 2019 draft, and represented one of several moves in recent years by the Falcons to invest in their offensive front. He has certainly lived up to expectations, serving as a full-time starter at right guard right away. His rookie season was limited to just five contests, but he has not missed a game since then. That durability, along with his level of play, makes this move a worthy investment.

The Boston College alum was PFF’s highest-rated player last season, earning a sparkling overall grade of 95. His rating in that regard his increased steadily over each of his four campaigns in Atlanta. His strength has been in run blocking, though his pass protection has taken notable strides as well. Now, the Falcons are banking on continued development over the coming years.

Right tackle Kaleb McGary is set to hit the open market, after he too worked as a full-time starter on the right side of the Falcons’ o-line. While his level of play hasn’t been at the level of Lindstrom, McGary is slated to be one of a few RTs in line for a considerable deal in the coming days. Regardless of if Atlanta can retain the latter, they now have Lindstrom on the books as the anchor of their offensive front for the long-term future.

2023 NFL Fifth-Year Option Results

Monday marked the deadline for NFL clubs to officially pick up their options on 2019 first-rounders. Fifth-year option seasons are no longer just guaranteed for injury — they’re now fully guaranteed, which makes these decisions a little tougher for teams.

Nineteen players had their options exercised, a tick up from 14 last year. Here’s the full rundown:

1. QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals – Exercised ($29.7MM)
2. DE Nick Bosa, 49ers: Exercised ($17.9MM)
3. DE Quinnen Williams, Jets: Exercised ($11.5MM)
4. DE Clelin Ferrell, Raiders: Declined ($11.5MM)
5. LB Devin White, Buccaneers: Exercised ($11.7MM)
6. QB Daniel Jones, Giants: Declined ($22.4MM)
7. DE Josh Allen, Jaguars: Exercised ($11.5MM)
8. TE T.J. Hockenson, Lions: Exercised ($9.4MM)
9. DT Ed Oliver, Bills: Exercised ($10.8MM)
10. LB Devin Bush, Steelers: Declined ($10.9MM)
11. OT Jonah Williams, Bengals: Exercised ($12.6MM)
12. LB Rashan Gary, Packers: Exercised ($10.9MM)
13. DT Christian Wilkins, Dolphins: Exercised ($10.8MM)
14. G Chris Lindstrom, Falcons: Exercised ($13.2MM)
15. QB Dwayne Haskins:
16. DE Brian Burns, Panthers: Exercised ($16MM)
17. DT Dexter Lawrence, Giants: Exercised ($10.8MM)
18. C Garrett Bradbury, Vikings: Declined ($13.2MM)
19. DT Jeffery Simmons, Titans: Exercised ($10.8MM)
20. TE Noah Fant, Seahawks: Exercised ($6.9MM; originally drafted by Broncos)
21. S Darnell Savage, Packers: Exercised ($7.9MM)
22. OT Andre Dillard, Eagles: Declined ($12.6MM)
23. OT Tytus Howard, Texans: Exercised ($13.2MM)
24. RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders: Declined ($8MM)
25. WR Marquise Brown, Cardinals: ($13.4MM; originally drafted by Ravens)
26. DE Montez Sweat, Commanders: Exercised ($11.5MM)
27. S Johnathan Abram, Raiders: Declined ($7.9MM)
28. DE Jerry Tillery, Chargers: Declined ($11.5MM)
29. DE L.J. Collier, Seahawks: Declined ($11.5MM)
30. CB Deandre Baker — N/A (released by Giants)
31. OT Kaleb McGary, Falcons: Declined ($13.2MM)
32. WR N’Keal Harry, Patriots: Declined ($12.4MM)

Falcons Exercise Chris Lindstrom’s Fifth-Year Option, Decline Kaleb McGary’s

The Falcons are splitting the decisions on their 2019 first-round offensive linemen. In a pair of tweets, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Atlanta is picking up the fifth-year option on guard Chris Lindstrom, but declining to do so with tackle Kaleb McGary

Neither move is seen as much of a surprise. Lindstrom, the 14th overall selection and second offensive linemen to come off the board in that class, has started all 38 games he has played in. While that total includes only five games in his rookie season, he has improved from year to year so far. He was credited with just two penalties committed and zero sacks allowed by PFF, helping him earn a career-high 83.7 grade.

For McGary, who went 31st overall, the transition to the NFL hasn’t gone as smoothly. He has also logged plenty of snaps, starting 45 of 46 career games, but has had neither the immediate impact nor the upward trajectory of Lindstrom. His PFF grades have been in the low-to-mid-60s the past two seasons, and in 2021 he ranked 59th out of 83 qualifying tackles. He will head into this season unsure of his future with the team beyond that point.

By picking up Lindstrom’s option, Atlanta will have a key cog on the offensive line in place for at least two more seasons. As a Tier 3 player for financial purposes, he will earn just over $13.2MM in 2023. Given his level of play – and, to a lesser extent, the team’s lack of significant additions at the position in the draft – it would come as little surprise for a long-term deal to be on the horizon for him.

Falcons Activate G Chris Lindstrom

Chris Lindstrom‘s season will resume Sunday. The Falcons activated the rookie guard off IR on Saturday and will reinstall him as their starting right guard.

Atlanta waived tight end Carson Meier to clear a roster spot. The team has used both of its IR-return spots over the past week, activating both Lindstrom and punter Matt Bosher. The latter, however, re-injured his groin and is back on IR.

Lindstrom returned to practice just this week, but the Falcons are evidently satisfied with his health and progress after a few days. The Boston College-developed prospect has spent nearly three months on IR because of a foot injury, last playing in Atlanta’s opener.

The Falcons used two first-round picks on offensive linemen this year, selecting Lindstrom at No. 14 overall and adding Kaleb McGary at No. 31. Neither’s first years have gone as the team hoped. McGary underwent heart surgery but returned to start all 12 Falcons games thus far. As a result, the Falcons have barely seen their two top rookie investments in uniform together.

NFC South Injury Notes: Cappa, Little, Lindstrom, Logan

The Buccaneers will be without starting right guard Alex Cappa this week, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN. Cappa sustained an elbow injury in Tampa Bay’s game against the Jaguars this past Sunday. Head coach Bruce Arians removed Cappa from the game in hopes that the precaution could allow Cappa to play this week, but unfortunately the injury is just too severe.

Veteran offensive lineman Earl Watford is behind Cappa on the depth chart and is expected to start in his place against the Colts. A six-year veteran, Watford has played all across the line, but is primarily an interior lineman. An injury earlier in the year forced Watford to start in place of Cappa for two games, so this will not be entirely unfamiliar territory for Tampa’s o-line.

Here’s some more injury notes from the NFC South:

  • Panthers tackle Greg Little was ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Falcons with an ankle injury, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. While Little was selected with the 37th pick in this year’s draft by Carolina to immediately jump into their rotation along the line, injuries have limited him to only four appearances on the season. Little can play either tackle spot, but was listed as the team’s top left tackle on the depth chart. Fellow rookie Dennis Daley will likely return to the starting lineup in his place.
  • Rookie offensive guard Chris Lindstrom will return to the field for the first time since Week 1 for the Falcons. According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta is activating Lindstrom from the injured reserve to start this week against the Panthers. The Falcons focused on solidifying their offensive line through the draft last offseason, selecting Lindstrom with the 14th overall pick and tackle Kaleb McGary later in the first round. Lindstrom, however, has been out since injuring his foot in the season opener and the offensive line has struggled mightily, allowing 38 sacks on the season.
  • Buccaneers running back T.J. Logan broke his thumb during practice and will be out for the remainder of the season, according to Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times. Logan has played a couple dozen offensive snaps on the season, accruing 23 yards from scrimmage. His primary role though, is as the team’s punt and kickoff returner. This season, Logan averaged 9.5 yards per return on 13 punt returns and 20.8 yards per return on 13 kick returns. Jenna Laine of ESPN reports that Justin Watson and Sean Murphy-Bunting will share punt return duties while Dare Ogunbowale handles kick returns in Logan’s absence.

Falcons Designate Chris Lindstrom For Return

The Falcons have designated rookie guard Chris Lindstrom to return from injured reserve, per a club announcement. In related moves, they’ve also signed offensive tackle John Wetzel and formally activated punter Matt Bosher from injured reserve. 

Lindstrom, 22, was selected by the Falcons with the No. 14 pick in the 2019 draft. He started at right guard in the season opener against the Vikings, but, unfortunately, he suffered a foot injury that landed him on injured reserve.

With his return to practice, the NFL’s 21-day window for activation begins. If Lindstrom is not activated to the 53-man roster during that window, he will not be eligible to return this season.

Bosher, 32, landed on IR prior to Week 5 matchup with a groin injury. Then, in late November, they earmarked him for return. The veteran has averaged 45.7 yards per punt during his nine seasons with the Falcons and will resume his place in the lineup starting this week against the Panthers.

Falcons To Place Chris Lindstrom On IR

Chris Lindstrom‘s rookie season is not definitively over, but the Falcons guard will not be back until at least November. The team is expected to place the first-round pick on IR, Tom Pelissero of notes (on Twitter).

The Boston College product broke a small bone in his foot on Sunday, and Pelissero adds this injury can be categorized as similar to the one Deion Jones suffered in September of 2018. Jones went to IR and returned for five games.

Atlanta has dealt with issues involving both of its first-round lineman choices. Kaleb McGary missed much of training camp because of a heart condition but has since returned.

The Falcons have some veteran insurance behind Lindstrom, adding both James Carpenter and Jamon Brown this offseason. Carpenter operated as Atlanta’s Week 1 left guard starter; Brown was inactive in Week 1. The Falcons also have third-year man Wes Schweitzer as well. A 2017 sixth-round pick, Schweitzer started 28 games for the past two Falcons editions.

Although Schweitzer replaced Lindstrom on Sunday, Dan Quinn confirmed the Falcons’ Week 2 guard configuration will be Carpenter-Brown. The latter was a regular Rams starter before being waived in 2018; Brown spent the final eight games of 2018 as a Giants starter.

Injury Updates: Mixon, Mayfield, Mahomes

Week 1 of the NFL season unfortunately saw a bunch of big names go down. Nick Foles is out indefinitely after breaking his clavicle, and Tyreek Hill will miss a few games with a shoulder issue. They weren’t the only ones to suffer potentially significant injuries, and we’ve got all the latest updates down below:

  • The 49ers already suffered a blow to their deep backfield when they placed Jerick McKinnon on IR prior to the start of the season, and now they’re down another member of the group. Tevin Coleman was knocked out of their Week 1 game against the Bucs by an ankle injury, and he left the locker room with a boot on his foot, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports (Twitter link). Maiocco notes he’ll have an MRI on Monday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game he was “concerned” about Coleman’s ankle, Matt Barrows of the Athletic tweeted. Shanahan also implied the team will promote Jeff Wilson Jr. from the practice squad, and said the team will look at adding outside running back help. Matt Breida figures to take on a more prominent role in the meantime while Coleman is sidelined.
  • Speaking of running backs with ankle injuries, Joe Mixon suffered one of his own. The Bengals’ runner is “believed to have just an ankle sprain,” according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, who tweets that “early reports [are] optimistic.” It’s unclear how sever the ankle sprain is, although fortunately it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a longterm absence for the Oklahoma product.
  • Baker Mayfield had a rough game in his highly anticipated 2019 debut. He threw three interceptions, and to make matters worse also hurt his hand. Mayfield had his wrist and hand wrapped and went for an X-Ray after the Browns’ to the Titans, sparking some concern. Fortunately he suffered only a bruise and the injury is “not considered serious,” a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).
  • Fans were also left holding their breath when Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes went limping off the field. Mahomes returned to Kansas City’s win over the Jaguars, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game Mahomes had a sprained ankle, according to Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). It doesn’t sound like Mahomes will miss any games, although his mobility may be limited moving forward.
  • The Falcons got blown out by the Vikings, and they also lost a key piece. The team fears that rookie first-round pick Chris Lindstrom fractured his foot, according to Jay Glazer of The Athletic (Twitter link). Lindstrom won the competition to start at right guard, and the organization thinks very highly of the 14th overall pick. Lindstrom’s rookie year could be over, as former NFL team doctor David Chao tweets the type of fracture “will determine if part of the season can be salvaged.” Even if he does make it back, it won’t be for a while.

Falcons Sign Rookie Chris Lindstrom

The Falcons have signed first-round guard Chris Lindstrom, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Lindstrom, the No. 14 overall pick in the draft, will receive a four-year, $14.6MM deal with an $8.6MM signing bonus. 

With that, the Falcons have now signed their entire 2019 draft class. Here’s the rundown, via PFR’s NFL Draft tracker:

Lindstrom has an NFL-ready body at 6’4″ and 310 pounds. Lauded for his athleticism, many evaluators view him as an ideal fit for zone blocking schemes. Meanwhile,’s Lance Zierlein offered up high praise of the Boston College product, comparing him to Browns standout guard Joel Bitonio.