One final move the Falcons must make this offseason

Falcons AJ Terrell Atlanta Falcons schedule release

It’s the dead period during the NFL offseason as the Falcons break for Summer before training camp.

At this juncture, there’s not much left to do for Atlanta other than sit and wait for one of the most highly anticipated seasons in recent memory, but there actually might be one final move the Falcons must make before the season.

ESPN pundit Aaron Schatz believes the last domino to fall in Atlanta this offseason is an A.J. Terrell contract extension.

Terrell might have been the best cornerback in the NFL in 2021. He may have been below average in 2022. He was back up in 2023, finishing 15th in success rate and 35th in coverage DVOA among qualified cornerbacks. What can I say? Cornerback stats are inconsistent and hard to predict. Nonetheless, Terrell is easily considered the most important player on the Atlanta defense behind maybe safety Jessie Bates III. The Falcons picked up his fifth-year option, but now they need to get Terrell signed long term so he doesn’t leave for another team in 2025.

The Falcons haven’t talked much about it, but Terry Fontenot did tell Daniel Flick of Sports Illustrated basically everything except, “We plan on extending A.J..”

“The worker, the consummate pro that he is, that’s what you get excited about, but the mindset that he has, the way that he works, he’s just a consummate pro. And that’s important,” Fontenot said. “Again, it’s a premiere position. Like we talked about pass rushers, cover corner is a premiere position. But love everything about A.J.”

If you look at Atlanta’s track record with these sorts of things, it seems it’s only a matter of time before an extension is announced. Last offseason, Chris Lindstrom agreed to a deal that made him the highest-paid guard in the league.

Terrell is likely looking at a four or five-year contract worth anywhere from $19-20 million in average annual salary. That would put him in the same realm as Jaylon Johnson, La’Jarius Sneed, Trevon Diggs, Marshon Lattimore, Marlon Humphrey, and Jalen Ramsey.

It would be wise for the Falcons and A.J. Terrell to get it done now before the season.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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