The Atlanta Falcons signing Grady Jarrett to another long-term extension in order to free up cash now may not be as smart or as simple as many would like you to think that it is.
Over the last few weeks, there have been many Atlanta Falcons fans upset at the thought of losing Julio Jones via trade post-June 1st in order to free up much-needed cap space.
Many have taken to social media in order to claim either extending or restructuring defensive tackle Grady Jarrett would be a much better option.
As Locked On Falcons podcast host Aaron Freeman pointed out two months ago, the team doesn’t have to approach him about any type of restructuring as there apparently is a clause in his contract that allows the team to convert his salary into a signing bonus money with nothing more than a notice.
Grady more than likely would not object as he is still going to get his money one way or another. This would help alleviate some pressure that the franchise is facing currently.
Atlanta Falcons cannot afford to extend Grady Jarrett
When the Atlanta Falcons inked Grady to his second NFL contract, they did so at a premium discount and he did that so that he could stay in his hometown and play for the franchise he watched growing up.
His second contract saw him net just $42 million guaranteed over the four years – yes, the contract was for up to $68 million but the majority of players rarely meet the escalators to get to the max. According to Spotrac, Grady’s market worth in 2019 when he re-signed was almost $16 million a year and there would have been other teams across the league willing to give him more.
If the Atlanta Falcons try to sign him to an extension, they undoubtedly will have to pay him closer to Aaron Donald money than what Quinnen Williams is earning on his rookie contract and that is where the issue could arise.
There is no doubt that Grady Jarrett is in the future plans for Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith, but Grady is going to want more money and could legitimately ask for $20 million a year and he would be worth every penny.
However, the franchise does not currently have that type of money to give him and the last thing you want to do is upset one of the two best players on your roster as you look to build toward a Super Bowl-winning roster, and not having Grady would make that a lot more difficult.
If Terry Fontenot wants to approach Grady with an extension idea, he has to be prepared to meet the contract demand that Grady may possibly have given his standing as one of the league’s best defensive tackles.
If the Atlanta Falcons are not ready or willing to meet that potential demand, the relationship the two currently have will sour quickly and Grady will seek other teams that appreciate and value what he brings to the table – which is the last thing that the franchise needs as it looks to re-load not rebuild.