Falcons deal with Jessie Bates III looks even better now

NFL: SEP 10 Panthers at Falcons

The Falcons were big spenders this offseason, shelling out $180 million to Kirk Cousins and nearly $40 million to Darnell Mooney.

It was the second offseason in a row where Arthur Blank wrote some big checks for free agents. Last year, the Falcons finally got out from underneath the mountain of dead cap they inherited from gutting the previous regime’s roster.

Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Deion Jones headlined the dead money contracts, and Terry Fontenot spent the newfound cap space, bringing in a trio of defenders in Jessie Bates, Kaden Elliss, and David Onyemata.

The Falcons have to be happy with their investment, specifically with the most expensive free agent of them all — Jessie Bates.

The $64 million man earned All-Pro honors in his first season with the Falcons, and after today, it’s a deal that looks even better. The Buccaneers and Antoine Winfield agreed on a new deal that will pay him north of $21 million per season, which is $5 million more per year than Bates.

Kyle Hamilton and Winfield earned first-team All-Pro honors, while Bates took second-team honors. However, one could argue that all three were deserving of first-team awards.

Bates ranked second among safeties in tackles (132) behind Camryn Bynum, second in interceptions (6) behind Geno Stone, and tied for third in forced fumbles (3) behind Winfield Jr. and Josh Metellus. Hamilton led all safeties in tackles for loss and passes defended, so he’s certainly deserving of praise too.

The Falcons are happy with their investment in Jessie Bates, who is one of the best players in the league at his position but is being paid like the fifth-best.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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