Falcons Rumors

Falcons, Deion Jones Agree To Extension

Part 2 of the Falcons’ major midsummer contracts can soon be removed from the franchise’s checklist. The Wednesday negotiations between Drew Rosenhaus and the Falcons apparently went quite well, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reporting (on Twitter) Deion Jones agreed to a four-year, $57MM extension.

The fourth-year linebacker will receive $34MM guaranteed, Schefter adds, with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reporting (via Twitter) part of that guarantee will be an $11MM signing bonus. The $34MM figure will also include $25.8MM fully guaranteed at signing, Florio tweets. Jones will receive $35.5MM in the first three years of this re-up, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. The Falcons and Rosenhaus met today in Atlanta to finalize the deal.

This extension falls in between C.J. Mosley‘s lofty Jets pact and the field, with the $14.25MM average making Jones the league’s second-highest-paid off-ball linebacker. It comes in nearly $1MM north of Anthony Barr‘s Vikings deal, in terms of AAV. Regarding fully guaranteed money, this pact trails only Mosley’s $43MM figure and Luke Kuechly‘s $27MM amount.

Two days after the Falcons locked up Grady Jarrett through 2022, they have their middle linebacker signed through 2023. Now, the focus will shift to the team’s highest-profile player. Julio Jones and the Falcons have been working on a new deal, one that will almost certainly make the All-Pro the league’s highest-paid wide receiver, for months. Arthur Blank‘s “Falcons for life” trio is two-thirds extended, but Julio Jones will end up with the biggest contract out of this triumvirate.

Although Deion Jones missed 10 games due to injury last season, the 2016 second-round pick has anchored Atlanta’s linebacking corps since his rookie season. Pro Football Focus graded Jones as its No. 14 linebacker last season; his placement was even higher during a 2017 Pro Bowl slate. The 24-year-old ‘backer has recorded 297 tackles, eight interceptions and three pick-6s in his 37-game career.

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Grady Jarrett's 2019 Cap Number Reduced To $11MM

Details On Grady Jarrett's Extension

The $42.5MM guarantee in Grady Jarrett‘s contract is essentially a full guarantee. While the Falcons defensive tackle officially received $38MM guaranteed at signing, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports he also has a $4.5MM injury guarantee that turns into a full guarantee on the third day of the 2020 league year. Jarrett is almost certain to receive all $42.5MM. The $38MM figure represents the second-highest full guarantee a team has given to an interior defender, with Jarrett’s deal trailing only Aaron Donald‘s ($50MM fully guaranteed) in that department. So, the zero-time Pro Bowler (but well-regarded lineman) made out well on deadline Monday.

Part of that guaranteed amount is an $18MM signing bonus, with Florio adding Jarrett will earn $6.5MM in base salary in 2019 and $10.5MM in 2020. Of Jarrett’s 2021 and ’22 salaries, only $4.5MM is guaranteed. His 2022 $16.5MM salary is non-guaranteed, and the structure of this contract looks like it will make it fairly easy for the Falcons to cut bait after 2020 if the investment proves poor.

Here is the latest from around the NFC, shifting from the Falcons to teams that do not open camp this week:

Latest On Falcons’ Talks With Julio Jones, Deion Jones

Now that the Falcons have agreed to an extension with Grady Jarrett, negotiations with Julio Jones and Deion Jones stand to pick up. The franchise will continue to talk with its extension-seeking Joneses.

Deion Jones’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, will meet with Falcons brass on Wednesday in Atlanta, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Jones and the Falcons have been discussing an extension since early March.

Although there is less clarity on the Julio Jones front, Ian Rapoport tweets the All-Pro wide receiver now becomes the Falcons’ top contract priority. However, a Deion Jones deal may beat this process to the finish line. Julio Jones and the Falcons still appear to have a ways to go before finalizing a deal.

Both Joneses reported to Falcons minicamp in June, and Julio expressed optimism he and the Falcons would have a new deal in place soon. Arthur Blank has said he wants both players, along with Jarrett, to be “Falcons for life.” Deion Jones has one season (at just more than $1MM) remaining on his rookie deal, while Julio Jones is signed through 2020 on his second Falcons contract. Julio’s third contract, whenever it is completed, stands to have a major impact on other extension-seeking wideouts.

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Falcons, Grady Jarrett Agree To Extension

Barely an hour away from this year’s deadline, the Falcons and Grady Jarrett have a new deal in place. Jarrett agreed to a four-year, $68MM deal to stay in Atlanta, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

Momentum built in the past 24 hours on the Jarrett front, and he becomes the second franchise-tagged player to agree to an extension Monday. Robbie Gould and the 49ers agreed to terms earlier today, leaving only Jadeveon Clowney without a deal. Jarrett, 26, has been a full-time starter for the Falcons since his second season. He would have made $15.2MM this year on the tag.

Jarrett’s $17MM-per-year average is well off Aaron Donald‘s benchmark for defensive tackles, but considering the disparities between the interior defenders’ profiles, that was to be expected. However, agent Todd France got his client on the same level as four-time Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox, whose 2016 extension averages $17.1MM annually. Jarrett is now NFL’s third-highest-paid interior defender.

Jarrett will receive $42.5MM in guarantees, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This total places Jarrett fifth among interior defenders — behind Donald, Cox, J.J. Watt and Kawann Short.

Although Jarrett has zero Pro Bowls in four seasons and just 14 sacks in that span (not counting his three-sack Super Bowl LI), the Falcons have long acknowledged the former fifth-round pick’s immense value to their defense. Jarrett produced 15 tackles for loss in 2017 and graded as a top-10 interior defender last season, per Pro Football Focus. He registered a career-high six sacks and 16 quarterback hits in 2018.

Arthur Blank said earlier this year he wanted Jarrett to join Julio Jones and Deion Jones as “Falcons for life.” The team has secured a key item off its offseason checklist and can now turn its attention to the Joneses.

This continues a productive offseason for franchise-tagged performers. Jarrett, Gould, Donovan Smith, Dee Ford, DeMarcus Lawrence and Frank Clark agreed to extensions after being tagged in March. Clowney, who has already played a fifth-year option season, is set to play yet another year without a long-term agreement in place.

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Hope For Falcons, Grady Jarrett Extension?

Could the upcoming deadline spur action for the Falcons and Grady Jarrett? A new deal for the defensive tackle was said to be unlikely, but there’s now some hope that a long-term deal can get done before 4pm ET/3pm CT, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link) hears.

Jarrett has been vocal about his desire for a new deal. He abstained from much of the Falcons’ offseason activities, though he reported for the Falcons’ mandatory minicamp in June along with receiver Julio Jones.

If Jarrett does not secure an extension on Monday, the Falcons will not be able to sign him to a long-term contract until the season is over. After that, they will have the option to employ the franchise tag for the second straight year, though it would come with a 20% increase and the risk of irritating one of their defensive stars.

If Jarrett stays on the $15.2MM tag, he’ll carry the third-highest cap hit in 2019 among defensive tackles, putting him behind only Aaron Donald ($17.1MM) and Kawann Short ($17MM).

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Latest On Falcons, Grady Jarrett

The Falcons and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett are unlikely to reach an agreement before the franchise tag extension deadline, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com hears (on Twitter). If that is indeed the case and nothing is signed today, Jarrett will play out the 2019 season on his one-year, $15.35MM tender. 

[RELATED: 49ers Sign Robbie Gould To Extension]

Jarrett’s six sacks in 2018 were impressive for an interior lineman, but he’s shown that he has even more to offer. Last year, Jarrett tied with Michael Pierce for the No. 5 spot on Pro Football Focus’ rankings for defensive tackles. Over the course of 463 pass rush snaps and 245 run defense snaps, Jarrett proved that he is one of the best at his position.

A new deal for the 26-year-old likely would have given the Falcons some additional breathing room this year, but they’re also working on new deals for wide receiver Julio Jones and linebacker Deion Jones. It’s a delicate balancing act, though owner Arthur Blank had said he expects all three players to be “Falcons for life.”

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Latest On Falcons, Grady Jarrett

The key news cycles involving 2019 franchise tags have centered around edge rushers, with DeMarcus Lawrence signing an extension and the Chiefs trading their own tagged edge rusher (Dee Ford) and acquiring the Seahawks’ (Frank Clark). Jadeveon Clowney, whom the Texans discussed with the Chiefs, may now go another year without a long-term deal. 49ers kicker Robbie Gould has also requested a trade.

Not as much as transpired on the Grady Jarrett front, but we are less than 24 hours from this year’s deadline for tagged players to sign extensions. As it stands now, talks between Jarrett and the Falcons have been “cool,” per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But Ledbetter notes the sides have not given up hope, adding this situation could still heat up between now and Monday’s 3pm CT deadline.

Arthur Blank has said he wants Jarrett to be a “Falcon for life,” but the owner has used that phrase regarding contract-year standouts Julio Jones and Deion Jones. The Falcons still have some significant business to conduct and hold just $6.5MM in cap space. Jarrett’s franchise tag takes up $15.2MM of Atlanta’s cap.

The Falcons and Jarrett’s agent, Todd France, continue to discuss a deal, Ledbetter writes. But the team may be cautious about entering the territory of fellow France interior defender clients Aaron Donald ($22.5MM AAV) and Fletcher Cox ($17.1MM AAV). France will likely view those contracts as relevant for his Falcons client, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry writes. Jarrett (14 career sacks, no Pro Bowls) has not proven himself to be on those perennial Pro Bowlers’ level, perhaps leading to the gap in terms and Thomas Dimitroff conceding the sides may have to revisit negotiations after Jarrett plays this season on the tag. After Cox, Geno Atkins and Kawann Short — each making just more than $16MM a year — represent the next-highest-paid group of interior defenders.

It would certainly behoove the Falcons to finalize a deal with Jarrett, in order to reduce his 2019 cap number and thus help the team work out deals with the Joneses. Jarrett signed his franchise tender in April and reported to minicamp.

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NFL Supplemental Draft Order

The NFL’s Supplemental Draft order does not go by the inverted win/loss records of clubs. Instead, the order is dictated by a weighted lottery that uses a team’s win percentage as just part of the equation. Here, via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link) is the complete order of the supplemental draft:

1. Lions
2. Broncos
3. Jets
4. Cardinals
5. Giants
6. Bills
7. Raiders
8. 49ers
9. Jaguars
10. Packers
11. Bengals
12. Bucs
13. Falcons
14. Vikings
15. Redskins
16. Titans
17. Dolphins
18. Steelers
19. Panthers
20. Browns
21. Ravens
22. Patriots
24. Seahawks
25. Eagles
26. Texans
27. Bears
28. Colts
29. Saints
30. Chiefs
31. Chargers
32. Rams

The supplemental draft is conducted via email. If multiple teams submit a pick for the same player in the same round, this order dictates which club gets the player. Of course, any team picking a player in the supplemental draft will sacrifice the corresponding pick in the 2020 draft.

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Extension Candidate: Falcons LB Deion Jones

With so much attention being paid to a potential extension for Falcons receiver Julio Jones, it’s easy to forget about the Falcons’ other player by the same surname who is pushing for a new deal. Linebacker Deion Jones has been discussing an extension as he enters his walk year, but we haven’t heard much news regarding his situation in recent weeks. 

As a former second-round pick, Jones is slated to earn less than $1.1MM in 2019, with no club option for a fifth season. In theory, the lack of an option is a good thing for players like Jones who have outperformed their draft slot, but the Falcons still have leverage thanks to his laughably low salary for the coming year. Jones isn’t necessarily the priority either – the Falcons are likely putting a greater focus on Grady Jarrett‘s contract and the aforementioned contract of J. Jones.

Jones, who won’t celebrate his 25th birthday until November, has proven to have a nose for the ball. In three seasons, he has eight interceptions to his credit, including three pick-six plays for touchdowns. He was also a tackling machine in his first two seasons, though a broken foot suffered in Week 1 of the 2018 season kept him to a total of six games last year.

The injury undoubtedly hurt his negotiating position, though a broken foot is not as devastating as a ligament tear to the knee. Jones still has serious potential at the linebacker position with plenty of room to grow before entering his prime years.

The Falcons would obviously love to keep Jones in the fold for years to come, but the skyrocketing rate for inside linebackers may prove to be a barrier. In March, C.J. Mosley passed Luke Kuechly on a rocket ship with a five-year, $85MM deal that includes $43MM fully guaranteed. Granted, this was a free agent deal, and Mosley is more accomplished than Jones, but Jones’ camp undoubtedly has those specs in mind. Meanwhile, Seahawks star Bobby Wagner is also in the hunt for a new deal, and the market could balloon even further if he puts pen to paper before Jones.

Ultimately, we expect the Falcons to get something done with their young linebacker, but he might have to wait until the other stars are addressed.

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