The Falcons will apply a $2.81MM second-round tender to restricted free agent wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, reports Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Doing so will entitle Atlanta to a team’s second-round pick if that club signs Gabriel to an offer sheet and the Falcons don’t match it. Gabriel told McClure he’d like to be a “Falcon forever,” though, and the two sides will be able to negotiate a long-term contract if they want.
The speedy Gabriel just finished his first season in Atlanta, which claimed him off waivers after the Browns jettisoned him leading up to Week 1. That proved to an excellent move for the Falcons, with whom Gabriel averaged a lofty 16.5 yards per catch on 35 grabs and scored seven touchdowns (six receiving, one rushing) in 13 regular-season games. The 26-year-old then added another nine catches for 171 yards in the playoffs for the NFC champions.
Since entering the NFL in as an undrafted free agent in 2014, the 5-foot-8, 167-pound Gabriel has amassed 99 catches, 1,441 yards (14.2 YPC) and eight scores scores in 42 games.
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