Atlanta Falcons must sign Grady long-term
Grady Jarrett officially signed his $15.2 million franchise tag with the Atlanta Falcons on Monday ensuring that the fifth year defensive tackle out of Clemson will suit up for the black and red in 2019.
While contributors at Blogging Dirty have written previously Grady is not worth this type of money, his game field begs to differ. Over the last two seasons, Grady has graded out among the top 10 defensive tackles in 2017 and among the top 5 defensive tackles in 2018. Grady is elite and will be paid elite money.
There is an argument to be made that you are paying Grady for several other reasons as well. One, Grady is highly active in the community and is a fantastic ambassador for the Atlanta Falcons. Even on his rookie contract as a fifth round pick, Grady donated a lot of his money, but especially his time to Atlanta. The Falcons cannot afford to allow a hometown kid with that type of character to simply walk.
Another reason you cannot allow Grady to walk, is that this sets the precedent that the franchise does not reward their draft picks that ascend to the elites of the NFL. Sure, they have paid Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, but those positions are a no brainer when it comes to being paid, it is why every kid wants to be a QB or a WR. Atlanta cannot become known as the franchise that allows its best players to walk over money. This reputation gets franchises into trouble, makes it tougher to compete in the free agent market, and potentially forces a draft day scenario where players are telling the team they will sit out and not sign.
The last reason you sign Grady Jarrett to a long-term contract, he makes you better and sets the tone on your defense. Only three times in Matt Ryan’s career has he had a defense finish in the top 10 in total defense, more importantly only twice has he had a defense finish in the top 10 in scoring. Grady has been the constant performer during his first four seasons and if this defense is going to finish among the elites of the game, Grady must be here.
There is zero doubt that Grady ends up an Atlanta Falcon for his entire career. After this week’s draft, Thomas Dimitroff will get back to work and will secure Grady long-term before the start of the 2019 regular season.