Falcons once again one of the biggest offseason spenders

NFL: NOV 05 Vikings at Falcons

For the first time since taking over GM duties in Atlanta, Terry Fontenot was able to spend cap dollars frivolously on the Falcons roster last offseason.

Despite having excess funds, he was still quite efficient in the deals he handed out, which isn’t always the case when teams suddenly come into a boatload of cap space.

Fontenot handed Jessie Bates, Kaden Elliss, and David Onyemata a combined $120+ million in contracts while giving Chris Lindstrom a $100+ million deal to make him the highest-paid guard in the league at the time.

Even before that, the Falcons invested in Grady Jarrett and Jake Matthews, extending the stalwarts by a combined $105 million in new contracts. Fontenot has done very well in his big money deals, and the hope is that success continues this year.

The two biggest free agent deals were Kirk Cousins and Darnell Mooney, who combined to sign with the Falcons for nearly $220 million. With a few other ancillary acquisitions, the Falcons have spent $244 million on free agent signings this offseason, which is the fifth-most in the NFL.

What’s even crazier is the Falcons very well could take another monumental leap if they get an extension worked out with A.J. Terrell. The 2020 first-round pick is set to play on his fifth-year option this season and is eligible for a new deal.

Everyone in Atlanta expects one to come to fruition, but the price is the question. I’ve speculated that Terrell’s new contract will pay him somewhere between $19 and $20 million per year over four or five years.

Depending on those details, the Falcons could sink another $100 million into the roster this offseason, vaulting them to the top of the league’s offseason spenders.

Some fans may just take this for granted, but they shouldn’t. Whatever your gripe is with Arthur Blank, if you have any, nobody can say the man is cheap. The organization’s owner invests in his team and is willing to pay to win.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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