Falcons decide not to franchise tag Kaleb McGary

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It has been a whirlwind of a day for Falcons fans. It was originally reported that the Falcons and Ravens have had increased trade talks over the NFL Combine regarding Lamar Jackson. That riled up the fan base, much like it did last offseason with Deshaun Watson, but the result is the same.

Diana Russinni and multiple other high profile NFL insiders refuted the report shortly after, and even took it a step further, stating “The Atlanta Falcons will not be pursuing Lamar Jackson.”

I would be lying if I said I didn’t get my hopes up a little when the original report suggested the Falcons were going after Jackson. I’m not sure it would have been the best course of action, but at the very least, it would have brought some life to what has been a lifeless franchise over the last five years. However, that wasn’t the only critical news worth monitoring today.

The Falcons also had to make a decision on one of their own in Kaleb McGary, who was a candidate for the franchise tag. McGary is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason following a breakout campaign in his fourth season. The Falcons would like to bring him back, but it won’t be on the franchise tag.

The Falcons still have a week to work out an extension with McGary, but they’ve shown no sign of commitment to their former first-round pick. They understandably did not pick up his fifth-year option last offseason, which would have paid him around $13 million next season. The franchise tag was scheduled to pay him over $18 million in 2023.

An extension would likely be more team friendly in terms of AAV, but it’s difficult to gauge how the Falcons value McGary. He was very good this past season, but if he regresses back to who he was over his first three years in the league, his next contract could turn out to be a wart on the team’s cap sheet. This will be something to keep an eye on over the next week.

Photographer: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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