Falcons exercise Chris Lindstrom’s $13.2 million option, decline Kaleb McGary’s fifth-year option

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Today is the deadline for NFL teams to decide whether or not to pick up the fifth-year options of the 2019 first-rounders. Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary are the candidates in question. The former is a no-brainer. He’s a stalwart on the interior of the Falcons offensive line and will earn $13.2 million in 2023 if he’s not extended beforehand, which should be a priority for the front office next offseason. Meanwhile, McGary’s option being picked up was always going to be a long shot, and the Falcons have decided to allow him to test free agency next offseason.

Since Lindstrom is one of the best linemen on the roster, it was essentially a guarantee Atlanta would pick up his $13.2 million fifth-year option. With the projected fourth-most cap space next offseason, the Falcons are in a great position to keep Lindstrom throughout his prime. I’d expect negotiations to really ramp up next offseason.

McGary is an entirely different story. I wouldn’t have been shocked if the Falcons picked up his fifth-year option, primarily because they didn’t address the tackle position in the draft, but I still expected them not to bring him back. He just hasn’t developed into anything more than a below-average tackle, and the Falcons can’t continue to trot him out there. Tackle will be a position of need heading into next offseason.

David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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