Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: A look at how he handles contracts.

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 07: Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff walks on the field during warm ups prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome on September 7, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 07: Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff walks on the field during warm ups prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome on September 7, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Looking back at recent contracts and what to expect in the future when it comes to keeping Atlanta Falcons players in town

Looking around the league, there are some good contracts out there to the fans eye. There are also some very bad ones, luckily for the Atlanta Falcons, there aren’t many (if any) according to this article by Steven Ruiz of USA Today who lists the 15 most overpaid players. That being said, lets look at how contracts stack up around the league.

Looking at players the Falcons have lost over the last few years, there aren’t many that most fans actually minded losing. That can be credited to the philosophy that it seems Thomas Dimitroff has. It seems like he typically resigns his guys a year before their contract year. In recent memory, he’s done that with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Robert Alford, Ryan Schraeder, Desmond Trufant, and hopefully soon, Devonta Freeman, among others. That’s a pretty strong nucleus to keep around, considering the league has recently seen good players like; Josh Norman, Damon Harrison, and others switch teams. So to have a GM and front office who pays their guys is pretty refreshing. But, how do those contracts stack up now?

Recent contracts

Wide receiver Julio Jones signed a five-year $71 million dollar contract in the offseason of 2015. It actually went under the radar compared to another receiver like Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys, who made a pretty big deal about wanting to get paid.

That speaks more in-tune to Julio’s character though. Numbers wise, by no surprise, Julio edges out Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas’ “total salary” number by just over a million dollars, for the highest total salary for a wide receiver. Over the contract though, he’s the third highest paid wide receiver per year, and the guys who signed a contract in the same offseason as Julio: Thomas and Bryant become Free Agents in 2020.

Jones becomes one in 2021. No amount of money would ever make anyone proclaim Jones is overpaid. He’s Julio Jones – but looking at the grand scheme of things, he’s the third highest paid receiver on a per year basis. Estimating the future contracts of New York Giants Odell Beckham, Jr., and Oakland Raiders Amari Cooper, even that could look like a steal one day.

Cornerback Robert Alford signed a four-year $38 million dollar extension. In the midst of this, he was playing as the main cornerback due to the injury of Desmond Trufant. Alford actually kept up the pace with solid play, and possibly played even better, after signing the extension. Which may be good for Atlanta.

Imagine if he hit the open market? He’d most definitely of gotten bigger offers elsewhere. Looking at it, he’s the 16th highest paid cornerback on a yearly basis. His contract is basically identical to that of Sean Smith’s, in Oakland. That makes it look like a very good deal, considering the premium pricing for cornerbacks.

Offensive tackle Ryan Schraeder signed a five-year $31.5 million dollar extension during the regular season of 2021. This may be the best contract the Falcons have given out in recent memory. Some seem to forget, Schrader and Alford were set to become free agents. Atlanta did a tremendous job locking them up before the offseason.

That alone, makes the offseason a win. As it stands, Schraeder is making the ninth most per year, for a right tackle (once Dallas tackle La’El Collins’ contract becomes official). Which is undoubtedly a steal, considering he very well may be a top-three right tackle. Not bad.

Cornerback Desmond Trufant signed a big boy contract — a five-year $68.75 million dollar one to be exact, this offseason. He was set to be a free agent next year. However, the Falcons continued their philosophy of keeping their guys, without having to use a franchise tag. Comparing him to others, he’s the fifth highest paid corner on a per year basis.

His contract is pretty similar to A.J. Boyue of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trufant would of easily exceeded those numbers had he been able to test free agency. So again, managing the cap and keeping deserving players has been a strong suit.

Looking at the future, running back Devonta Freeman and offensive tackle Jake Matthews have to be the top two guys on the extension radar. Of course down the line, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, edge rusher Vic Beasley, corner Jalen Collins along with others will need to be looked at. Eventually the team will have to lose someone. But as of now, it’s a problem the Falcons haven’t faced, and that has a lot to do with the guys upstairs