Falcons, DT Jarrett beat deadline, reach deal

NFL

The Atlanta Falcons and star defensive tackle Grady Jarrett agreed to a four-year extension on Monday, the team announced.

Terms were not disclosed but sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the contract is worth $68 million.

The Falcons had until 4 p.m. ET to agree to the deal with Jarrett, who initially received the $15.209 million franchise tag. Jarrett had signed the tag, which was a precursor to the long-term deal, in April.

“As we have said since the end of the season, getting a deal done with Grady has been a priority and we are pleased to have accomplished that today,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement. “Grady is an integral part of our organization and we look forward to moving together for many years to come.”

Now with Jarrett signed, the Falcons can focus their attention on getting new deals done for top wide receiver Julio Jones and linebacker Deion Jones. Team owner Arthur Blank has already said that both players would be “Falcons for life,” and Julio Jones said he’s not worried about his contract situation because Blank has spoken.

The Falcons and Deion Jones’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, are scheduled for face-to-face negotiations in Atlanta on Wednesday, a source told Schefter.

The Falcons hope to at least have Julio Jones’ deal complete by the start of training camp, and he could be on the verge of an extension worth $20 million per year. The receiver currently has two years and more than $21 million left on his deal.

Jarrett, a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft out of Clemson, emerged as the Falcons’ top defender in recent years. According to Pro Football Focus, Jarrett generated 53 total pressures during the 2018 campaign while dominating on the interior. Jarrett had six sacks, three forced fumbles and a team-high 16 quarterback hits last season. He also thrived as a run-stuffer and recorded a team-high eight tackles for losses.

“It’s hard to sum up in a small chance,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said when asked what Jarrett means to his team. “The development that he’s made over the last few years — his energy on and off the field and what he brings to his defense — Grady’s toughness, intangibles and quickness, all of that is on point.”

Free safety Ricardo Allen emphasized how important Jarrett is to the defense in terms of setting the tone up front.

“Grady’s back there so fast that he’s the first m—–f—– the quarterback is running from,” Allen said. “Grady’s productive, man. He’s one of the best defensive tackles in the league, bro.”

Jarrett is part of the same 2015 draft class as Vic Beasley, the first-round pick out of Clemson who led the league with 15.5 sacks during the 2016 season. But Beasley’s production has dropped significantly since then, making this season an important one regarding his future alongside Jarrett on the Falcons’ defensive line.

Jarrett was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his community service, including leading efforts on anti-bullying and social justice.

The Falcons hold their first day of training camp next Monday morning. All veterans have to report by Sunday.

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