The legal tampering window opens at noon today, which may motivate some teams to re-sign their own free agents. And that’s exactly what is happening in Atlanta, according to ESPN. Jeremy Fowler reports the Falcons would like to keep Kaleb McGary and are making good-faith offers.
The club decided against franchise tagging the tackle, which would’ve paid him over $18 million in 2023, after not picking up his fifth-year option last offseason, which would’ve paid him around $13 million next season.
It’s an interesting case for McGary. He turned in a career year in 2022 but didn’t have the most impressive stretch before that. Granted, progression is rarely linear in the NFL. The former first round pick struggled for much of his career; however, in Arthur Smith’s offense, he thrived. Continuity certainly plays a factor in these negotiations but price will always be the end all be all.
It was reported that top right tackles will garner $15-19 million on the open market, which includes Kaleb McGary. That’s a bit rich for my blood, but that’s the going rate for a premium position like tackle. If that’s what McGary is demanding, I don’t think the Falcons oblige.
The front office seems to be operating the correct way, giving McGary’s representatives a chance to negotiate — hence, ‘good faith’ offers. Still, that seems to also suggest the team is operating under the assumption he’ll garner more on the open market and is just checking a box by submitting an offer.
If the team decides to go else where, the options aren’t plentiful. It isn’t the sexiest class of free agent tackles, but there are a couple that could assume a stopgap role while Atlanta searches for the long term answer. The draft also provides a few worthwhile prospects that could take over the right side.
Paris Johnson Jr., Broderick Jones, and Peter Skoronski are all popular targets for the Falcons in mock drafts. Each has facets of their game that need improving but could all develop into the long term answer next to Chris Lindstrom.
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