PFF did their 32 franchise tag candidates for each team, and the Falcons had a very obvious choice — Kaleb McGary.
Ravens: Lamar Jackson
Chiefs: Orlando Brown Jr
Franchise Tag candidates for each team ⬇️https://t.co/AR1IG7XuSD
— PFF (@PFF) February 6, 2023
McGary would cost the Falcons $18.244 million on a one-year tag. It’s likely it would cost the Falcons less to iron out an extension, but there’s some risk. McGary is coming off of one good season, and while I don’t think it was a fluke, an extension could turn out to be a disaster if he regresses back to the player he was throughout his first three seasons in Atlanta. Here’s what PFF had to say:
ATLANTA FALCONS: OT KALEB MCGARY ($18,244,000)
2022 Player WAR/Rank: 0.26 (12th)
Atlanta recently extended left tackle Jake Matthews and will have to earmark major money for their other 2019 first-round pick on the offensive line, right guard Chris Lindstrom, in the near future. What could have been a $13,202,000 fifth-year option in 2023 for McGary now would have to be $5 million more than that, or McGary will test the open market.
McGary’s 91.2 run-blocking grade in 2022 ranked second among tackles, and his 89.1 mark on outside zone runs ranked sixth. His deficiencies as a pass protector, however, could make the Falcons balk at this franchise tag value.
Hindsight is 20/20 when talking about McGary’s fifth-year option. No way that was getting exercised last offseason. The Falcons finally had some secure offensive line play in 2022, and letting McGary walk is a huge risk, especially with few good options on the market. I think both sides should be interested in getting an extension done, but the tag is a good “break glass in case of emergency” option.
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