The latest news on Grady Jarrett’s contract situation was that the two sides were far apart on a long-term deal, leaving the Falcons with little choice but to franchise tag their star defensive tackle. On Monday, they made that official.
Falcons placed franchise tag on DT Grady Jarrett, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 4, 2019
The tag for a defensive tackle is set at $15.2 million, which is what Jarrett will make if the Falcons cannot work out a contract extension with him this offseason. By tagging Jarrett, it will not allow him to test free agency, and most importantly, give more time for the two sides to find a middle ground. In a statement after placing the tag on Jarrett, Thomas Dimitroff reiterated extending him remains the top priority of the offseason.
Thomas Dimitroff statement on Grady Jarrett getting the franchise tag: pic.twitter.com/Yl5SJLxNjx
— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) March 4, 2019
As things stand today, Jarrett and Vic Beasley will account for $28 million against the cap in 2019. That will not allow the Falcons much room for movement in free agency. Reaching an extension with Jarrett would give Atlanta the opportunity to lessen his cap-hit in 2019 by backloading his contract, but the words of Dimitroff and Quinn have been backed up by their actions so far this offseason.
They like what they already have in-house and do not think any significant changes are necessary. While questionable, it should not come as a shock. Thomas Dimitroff has never been a big spender in the free agent market and has made a lot more poor signings than memorable ones. Although, this offseason did appear to be one where Atlanta could have a well above average amount of cap space at their disposal if they had chosen to release or restructure several contracts like those of Vic Beasley and Ryan Schraeder.
It’s a faithful strategy that backs many of the players Quinn and Dimitroff brought in together. Moves they will have to answer to if the Falcons cannot bounce back to the playoffs after an embarrassing 2018.