Jessie Bates III deal with Falcons likely to be mark for free agents

NFL: SEP 10 Panthers at Falcons

The Falcons handed out several lucrative contracts over the offseason after the club finally got out from underneath the mountain of dead cap left behind by the former regime.

Not only did the team reward its own with new deals, but they also went out and participated in free agency with no financial limitations.

The biggest of the deals went to Chris Lindstrom, who signed a record-breaking contract. Coming off a campaign that ended with All-Pro honors, the former first-round pick inked the richest deal in NFL history for a guard — five years and $105 million. It broke records in several categories including AAV, guarantees, and total money.

It was quickly topped in some facets as the Cowboys gave Zack Martin a new deal, adding $36 million over two years to his current contract. Prior to the new deal, Martin was set to make about $7 million less than Nelson and Lindstrom after signing a seven-year, $93.41 million deal in 2018.

The Falcons also handed out a $64 million deal to Jessie Bates, who was the gem of the free agent class. He gets $36 million over the first two seasons and the other $28 million in the last two. Though there isn’t a safety that is going to top Bates’ deal this offseason, it is being considered as a mark for free agents.

From ESPN: “A top safety in March will likely cost $16 million per year on a new deal, with an average of $18 million per year over the first two seasons. That’s essentially what Atlanta gave Jessie Bates III ($64 million over four years, $36 million over 2023-24) in March. — Fowler”

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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