Is Grady Jarrett skipping Falcons OTA’s for a new contract?

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The Falcons began their voluntary offseason training activities on Tuesday, and one of the few stars on the team was absent — Grady Jarrett, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter. This once again brings up the uncertainty surrounding Jarrett’s future in Atlanta.

Many have speculated that this means he’s going to be traded or that he’s holding out for a new deal, and I tend to agree with that narrative. First and foremost, Jarrett has confirmed — via his Instagram story — that he’s working out with his former teammate from Clemson, DJ Reader, instead of attending the voluntary workouts.

Secondly, this isn’t the first time Jarrett has skipped this period of the offseason. In 2019, the All-Pro defender didn’t show up to OTA’s in hopes of landing a long-term deal after having the $15.2 million franchise tag placed on him. Eventually, Thomas Dimitroff handed Jarrett the multi-year contract he was seeking.

Neither side wants to go into the 2022 season with Jarrett playing in a contract year. That could mean Jarrett wants an extension but could also mean the Falcons are working out whether a trade or extension is better suited for the team. Atlanta recently handed an older Jake Matthews a three-year extension, so Jarrett’s age shouldn’t be a factor in negotiations.

I think it is likely the Falcons will extend Jarrett, or at the very least, their preference is to keep him. They’ll likely wait until draft time to see what kind of compensation is offered for the veteran’s services and then decide whether they’re better off giving him the extension or acquiring draft picks and continuing the rebuild.

Photographer: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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