The Falcons made Chris Lindstrom the highest-paid guard in football this offseason after his first All-Pro season, in which many considered him to be the best guard in football. PFF graded him out as the top player at his position in 2023, but the analytics site ranked him outside of the top three in their annual rankings.
With PFF grades that have jumped significantly every season since he entered the league, including a league-best 95.0 mark in 2022, Lindstrom has a case to be three spots too low on this list. The players above him have impressed for longer, but Lindstrom finished the 2022 season with PFF grades above 90.0 in five of seven games and could be the consensus top guard in football by the end of this season.
Not only did the Falcons make Chris Lindstrom the highest-paid guard in the league earlier this offseason, but the contract also set new marks in a number of different categories as well — APY, guarantees, new guarantees, front end cash, etc.
He exudes the character the new regime is trying to promote within its building. He’s a Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate and an All-Pro; the club has made it known they will reward their own, so it shouldn’t have surprised anyone that Atlanta made him the highest-paid player at his position.
Zack Martin, Quenton Nelson, and Joel Bitonio have the track record of success Lindstrom is striving for, but I’d argue his 2022 campaign was better than at least two of the aforementioned top three. Martin’s 2022 season was the worst in quite a long time but still dominant. Nelson dealt with injuries and has steadily declined over the last three seasons. Bitonio is also 32 years old but seems to be aging like a fine wine.
Chris Lindstrom is arguably better than all of them, and another impressive season will cement him as the best guard in football.
Photographer: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire