The Falcons didn’t have the cap space to sign their rookie class a month ago; OverTheCap estimated Atlanta would need around $7 million to sign their 2022 draft class with the pre-draft projection of $3.4 million cap space. However, things have changed.
First, the Falcons decided to cut ties with Mike Davis after selecting BYU running back Tyler Allgeier in the fifth round. The move created $2.5 million in cap space. Then, the Falcons and Grady Jarrett agreed to a lucrative three-year, $51 million contract extension that locked up one of the only pillars on the roster and simultaneously lowered his cap hit this year. Jarrett’s $12.9 million cap in 2022 saves the team $10.9 million.
As it stood after those moves, the Falcons sat with just under $16 million in cap space, according to OTC. And now, Terry Fontenot is inking those rookie deals.
The Falcons announced Thursday afternoon they’d come to an agreement with their first-round pick Drake London. Atlanta signed London to a four-year deal with the universal fifth-year option for every first-rounder worth a reported total value of $24.66 million, according to OverTheCap. London will carry a cap hit of $4.48 million in 2022.
Rookie deals can sometimes be highway robbery. Think of the high value that rookie receivers like Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson brought to their teams. Each was arguably the best receiver in their respective rookie season while getting paid like a role player instead of like the top player at their position. London could have a similar impact for the Falcons.
Photographer: Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire