Falcons Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/11/18

Here are Saturday’s minor moves.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: CB Ryan Neal
  • Waived: T Kendall Calhoun

Denver Broncos

  • Claimed off waivers from Bengals: T Austin Fleer

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: DL Lord Hyeamang

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Released from IR: TE Adam Zaruba

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: DB Trey Caldwell, DB Kenneth Durden
  • Waived: CB Jarell Carter, CB Joseph Este

Washington Redskins

Falcons Work Out Giorgio Tavecchio

Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio worked out for the Falcons this week, a source tells Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (on Twitter). Tavecchio was waived by the Raiders on Friday, making him a free agent. 

The Tavecchio audition could be an indication that the Falcons have some doubts about 43-year-old Matt Bryant. That would be somewhat surprising, since the Falcons inked Bryant to a three-year, $10.5MM extension in March to make him one of the ten highest-paid kickers in the NFL. The deal included a $2MM signing bonus, so that would be a sunk cost for Atlanta if they release him.

Last year, Bryant nailed 87.2% of his field goals, good for 12th in the NFL. He also sank eight-of-nine attempts from 50 yards or more, so his power hasn’t deteriorated much. Tavecchio, meanwhile, made 16 of his 21 field goal attempts with the Raiders in 2017 (76%), including three-of-four tries from 50 yards or further.

The Falcons also have Georgia UDFA kicker David Marvin on the 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons, S Ricardo Allen Agree To Extension

The Falcons have agreed to a three-year extension with safety Ricardo Allen, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The pact, worth $19.5MM, will keep Allen in place through the 2021 season. 

The Falcons retained Allen this offseason by assigning the $2.914MM restricted free agent tender to him. He took his time before signing the deal, waiting until June to ink the contract. Allen took a small gamble by waiting to sign his tender, but the Falcons were unlikely to pull it the given his past performance.

In four seasons with the team, Allen has played in 46 games, including 45 starts. All in all, he has made six interceptions, ten deflected passes, one fumble recovery, and 158 tackles. Allen made it clear that he wanted to play in Atlanta beyond the 2018 season and the interest was mutual, so it was only a matter of time before a deal came together.

The $6.5MM average annual value on the deal puts Allen in the top 20 amongst all NFL safeties. Currently, four other safeties – Glover Quin (Lions), Barry Church (Jaguars), Jaquiski Tartt (49ers), and Eric Weddle (Ravens) – make the same per year on average.

Still, it’s a reasonably priced deal that should give the Falcons enough room to work out an extension with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Meanwhile, Allen has obtained financial security that will spare him from testing a weak market for free agent safeties.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/30/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Falcons, Ricardo Allen Discussing Extension

After reaching a compromise with Julio Jones and locking up left tackle Jake Matthews, the Falcons are moving on to other offseason priorities. With that in mind, the Falcons are meeting with agent Drew Rosenhaus in Atlanta to discuss an extension for safety Ricardo Allen, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

The Falcons retained Allen this offseason by assigning the $2.914MM restricted free agent tender to him. He took his time before signing the deal, waiting until June to ink the contract. Allen took a small gamble by waiting to sign his tender, but the Falcons were unlikely to pull the given his past performance.

In four seasons with the team, Allen has played in 46 games, including 45 starts. All in all, he has made six interceptions, ten deflected passes, one fumble recovery, and 158 tackles. Allen has made it clear that he wants to play in Atlanta beyond the 2018 season and the interest in mutual.

Still, there are a couple of factors working against Rosenhaus and Allen. First, Rosenhaus will have to fight something of an uphill battle given the weakness of this year’s free agent market for safeties. The Falcons also must leave enough flexibility in the cap for a new deal with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Details On Jones' Revised Contract

Falcons, Jake Matthews Agree To $75MM Deal

The Falcons and left tackle Jake Matthews are finalizing a five-year, $75MM deal, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The deal positions Matthews as one of the three highest paid left tackles in the league. 

[RELATED: Julio Jones Reaches Compromise With Falcons]

Matthews, 26, has started every game he’s played in for the Falcons since entering the league as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 draft. Last year, the Texas A&M product graded out as the No. 14 tackle in the NFL, per the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus. Meanwhile, Matthews’ 1,159 regular season snaps was the fourth-highest of any tackle in the NFL last season.

Initially, Matthews was scheduled to earn $12.496MM in 2018 before hitting the open market. With the new deal, he’ll earn even more – $15MM/year – while remaining under club control through 2023. It’s a whopper of a deal for a left tackle, and one that is only topped by Taylor Lewan‘s fat new contract with the Titans and Nate Solder‘s recent four-year, $62MM pact.

Next up for the Falcons may be a new deal with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Jarrett, a fifth round pick back in 2015, is entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Julio Jones Reports To Falcons

Julio Jones and the Falcons have reached a compromise. The star wide receiver will participate in training camp and the two sides will go back to the negotiating table next year. 

We have had continued dialogue all offseason with Julio and his representation. We have come to an agreement with Julio, and we will re-address everything in 2019. I appreciate everyone’s hard work and communication on this,” GM Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement. “This adjustment does not impede us from working on other extensions with other key members of our football team. We will continue to work on those contracts going forward.”

The Falcons converted roughly $2MM of Jones’ 2019 base salary into a bonus for 2018, Jeff Schultz of The Athletic (on Twitter) hears. That’s far from the mega extension that Jones was gunning for, but it’ll be enough to get him on the practice field and focused on football.

Last year, Jones had 88 receptions for 1,444 yards and he has given the Falcons four straight seasons with at least 1,400 yards receiving.. He’s made the Pro Bowl in each of his last five healthy seasons, positioning himself as one of the very best wide receivers in the game. However, with three years to go on his current contract, he didn’t have quite enough leverage to get a new deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons, Julio Jones Working On New Deal

The Falcons are “working intensively” on a new contract for wide receiver Julio Jones, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Atlanta is open to “creatively addressing” Jones’ planned salary for 2018, which sits at $10.5MM.

Earlier this week, reports surfaced indicating Jones would be holding out from the Falcons’ training camp after requesting an “adjusted” contract in May. Thus far, Atlanta has not shown an inclination to give Jones any sort of an alteration, and were reportedly focused on new deals for players like Grady Jarrett, Jake Matthews, and Ricardo Allen.

Jones helped reset the wide receiver market in 2015 by inking a five-year, $71.25MM extension with Atlanta, tying him to the club through the 2020 campaign. However, Jones’ $14.25MM average salary now ranks just ninth among NFL wideouts, behind fellow pass-catchers such as Davante Adams, Jarvis Landry, and Sammy Watkins.

In 2017, Jones snagged 83 balls en route to finishing third in the league in receiving yards per game. The 29-year-old Jones has been to four straight Pro Bowls and has two first-team All-Pro nods under his belt. Once his contract is squared away, he’ll once top an Atlanta depth chart that now includes Calvin Ridley in additional to Mohamed Sanu.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/25/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianpolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Waived: OL Donavon Clark

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: WR Aaron Lacombe, WR Khadarel Lott, WR JoJo Natson
  • Waived: WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez, WR Ricky Jeune

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Waived/injured: DB Trey Johnson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins