Grady Jarrett, Falcons Reportedly Agree to New 3-Year Contract Worth Up to $51M

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 3, 2022

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JANUARY 09: Grady Jarrett #97 of the Atlanta Falcons walks off the field after a loss to the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons have locked in arguably their best defensive player, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, for the foreseeable future.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Jarrett and the Falcons agreed to a three-year contract extension worth up to $51 million. Rapoport added that $34.5 million of the money is guaranteed, and the deal will lower Jarrett's salary-cap number in 2022.

Jarrett had been set to become a free agent next offseason, but he is now under contract with the Falcons through 2025.

Atlanta originally selected Jarrett in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft, and he has far exceeded expectations since then.

In seven NFL seasons, Jarrett has registered 359 tackles, 54 tackles for loss and 26.5 sacks, yielding two Pro Bowl nods.

Jarrett had a career-high 69 tackles and 7.5 sacks in 2019, but his numbers were down quite a bit last season despite him starting all 17 games.

While his 59 tackles were the second-most of his career, Jarrett set career lows with three tackles for loss and just one sack.

Given his drop in production, his impending free agency in 2023 and the fact that he is a 29-year-old veteran on a rebuilding team, there was speculation of a potential trade leading up to and during last week's draft.

Instead, the Falcons re-signed Jarrett, presumably in hopes of him being a leader for the young, developing players on defense.

Atlanta committed three of its first five draft picks to its defense, selecting pass-rusher Arnold Ebiketie and linebacker Troy Andersen in the second round, as well as pass-rusher DeAngelo Malone in the third round.

The Falcons are not expected to compete for a playoff spot in 2022. With plenty of promising, young talent on the roster, though, it may not be a stretch to think they could be a playoff team again two or three years down the road, and Jarrett should be a significant part of that process.