The Falcons haven’t officially announced the club will exercise AJ Terrell’s fifth-year option, but Michael Rothstein of ESPN reports Atlanta has picked it up behind the scenes.
Have confirmed the AJ Terrell 5th-year option pickup by the Atlanta Falcons.
So he's now under contract with a guaranteed salary for the 2024 season.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) April 28, 2023
The Falcons have until May 2 to decide whether to exercise the fifth-year option.
Terrell is in line for a lucrative contract extension next offseason, and this is the precursor for that. It was not a question of if but when the Falcons would exercise Terrell’s option.
It will pay Terrell $12.344 million in 2024, which is a bargain for an All-Pro caliber cornerback in today’s NFL. In fact, Terrell’s future compensation will likely be nearly double his fifth-year option.
After the Falcons made Chris Lindstrom the highest-paid guard in the league, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Terrell receive a market-setting contract, even if I don’t think he deserves it. This regime is upfront about rewarding their own guys, and Terrell is the next one up.
After Jaire Alexander and Denzel Ward’s extensions, Terrell is undoubtedly licking his lips at the thought of resetting the market.
Ward’s deal is worth $100.5 million over five years, with $71.25 million guaranteed. His extension also set the record for an average annual value at $20.1 million, but Jaire Alexander’s more recent deal eclipsed that mark at $21 million per year. Finally, Ward’s guaranteed money tops Ramsey’s $71.2 million. Locking down Terrell isn’t going to be cheap, especially considering Jaire Alexander‘s market-setting deal.
I would expect a deal that resets the market. I don’t think A.J. Terrell is a better cornerback than Jaire Alexander, but I also didn’t think Chris Lindstrom was the unquestioned best player at his position either, and he reset the guard market in several ways.
The Falcons clearly don’t look it at from that point of view. They want to reward their own guys, and Terrell is going to be a pillar of this franchise. I’d expect a deal worth between $21 and 22 million over four or five years, resetting the cornerback market.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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