Placing the franchise tag on Grady Jarrett simply buys more time for the Atlanta Falcons and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff.
The Atlanta Falcons announced yesterday that they had (expectedly) used their franchise tag on Grady Jarrett. This had to happen, the Falcons could not allow its best defensive lineman, and the son of the greatest player in franchise history, to walk in 2019.
Falcons twitter blew up after the announcement and it was nothing but disappointment and disgust. I am still trying to figure out why. This was expected and all it did was buy Thomas Dimitroff and the Atlanta Falcons more time to negotiate a number that both the franchise and Grady could live with.
ESPN’s Vaughn McClure was in Indianapolis for the combine and reported that the two sides were not close an agreement over the weekend, setting up Monday’s announcement. Early reports were that Grady wanted Aaron Donald type money, but Grady and his camp are denying that claim.
What is Grady’s worth? According to Spotrac, Jarrett’s market value is $15.5 million a year and has earned a contract that should resemble six years and $93 million dollars. The question then becomes, is that the starting point for Grady or the ending point for the Falcons?
The easy assumption is that Grady is asking for more and you cannot blame him. Isn’t that how we have all been taught to negotiate? Ask for more so that you “compromise” and “settle” for more than you would have originally earned. We all know owners and General Managers are cheap, hell, we know that better than any other sports market.
I had a friend ask me yesterday if I thought Grady would hold out as Le’Veon Bell did. The short answer to that is no way that happens. That is not who Grady is and not what he is about; besides, to go from $1.9 million in 2018 to $15.2 million in 2018 is pretty damn good.
The Falcons and Grady Jarrett have until July 15th to come to a contract agreement, when both sides want to get something done, it usually does. I do not expect Grady to play under the franchise tag in 2019. Instead, expect him to sign a long-term deal that keeps him in the black and red for the next five to six years.