Bleacher Report’s most overpaid Falcons player may surprise fans

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The Falcons handed out $180 million to Kirk Cousins and $39 million to Darnell Mooney this free agency.

Last year, Terry Fontenot was able to spend without limitations for the first time since taking over GM duties in Atlanta. He made Chris Lindstrom the highest-paid guard in the league at the time while giving Jessie Bates, Kaden Elliss, and David Onyemata a combined $120+ million in contracts.

It’s been a while since the Falcons were able to hand out lucrative contracts, and a couple more are coming down the pike. A.J. Terrell is up for an extension, and the club currently has more than $40 million in cap space next offseason to spend, according to Spotrac.

For the most part, Fontenot has been quite efficient with his dollars, but Bleacher Report doesn’t think giving Grady Jarrett such a pricey contract extension was the wisest use of funds; he’s BR’s most overpaid Falcons:

The two-time Pro Bowler isn’t the player he was five years ago, but he sure is paid like it. Jarrett is due $40.8 million the next two seasons despite having just 8.5 sacks since the start of 2021.

Well, pointing out the 8.5 sacks since 2021 isn’t really fair, in my eyes. Firstly, an interior defender is always going to have fewer sacks than an edge defender. Secondly, Jarrett hasn’t had a lick of help in the trenches outside of last year. Thirdly, he missed half of the season last year.

Grady Jarrett signed a three-year, $50.47 million extension with Atlanta in May 2022, becoming one of the first investments of the new regime. Granted, the sack total might not match the price tag, but considering the circumstances, his impact as a leader, and the stats that don’t show up on a box score, the Falcons are probably happy with their decision.

He’s the heart and soul of the Atlanta Falcons, but I actually don’t know who would even be the most overpaid player if not for Jarrett. Kirk Cousins is the highest-paid player on the payroll but hasn’t taken a snap for the team.

Jake Matthews is the second highest-paid Falcon, and he probably deserves it as an iron man at one of the most important positions in the sport. Chris Lindstrom and Jessie Bates are next and just turned in All-Pro campaigns.

Then, there’s Kaleb McGary, who a lot of Falcons fans have a problem with for some reason. He’s more than fine at that price at right tackle. With that being said, Jarrett isn’t overpaid either. I don’t know who I would even pick.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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