Breaking down the details Chris Lindstrom's mega extension

Atlanta Falcons v Seattle Seahawks
Atlanta Falcons v Seattle Seahawks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

When the legal tampering period commenced, the Atlanta Falcons wasted no time in making moves. One of those moves was locking down right guard Chris Lindstrom through the 2028 NFL season.

Lindstrom was coming off of a dominant year when he was undeniably the best guard in football and arguably the best offensive lineman in the league—needless to say, he was spectacular.

Breaking down Chris Lindstrom's five-year, $102.5 million extension

Chris Lindstrom instantly became the highest-paid offensive guard in NFL history when he signed his five-year, $102.5 million contract that will, on average, pay him $20.5 million per year until the end of the 2028 season. He also has $63 million in total guarantees.

It is a lot of money to pay a guard, but this needed to happen and the Atlanta Falcons were smart to get it done early. Let's now look at the details of the contract, thanks to information gathered by Spotrac, starting with his bonuses.

Must Read: 3 moves from around the NFL that the Atlanta Falcons are laughing at.

Lindstrom will have a signing bonus of $5.5 million every year from 2023 to 2027—the last year of his contract is the only one without a signing bonus, although those are all subject to change with potential restructures. He will receive a $4 million bonus for being on the roster this upcoming season and a $2 million bonus for being on the roster in 2027 and/or 2028. Now onto the basic numbers of his contract.

Basic details by year:


Total salary

Cap hit

Dead cap (if released)

























The Falcons set this contract up in a smart way. Essentially they are paying him about 35% of his total money in 2023 and then spreading the rest out over the remaining five years.

As for his cap hit, it will slowly rise until 2027, before dipping for the final year. That slow rise will be negligible as there is an assumed salary cap increase each year. For example, the salary cap in 2023 rose by almost $17 million, and with the biggest cap hit increase from one year to the next—in regards to Lindstrom—being $4.3 million (2023-2024), his impact on the salary cap, at worst, should only increase by a percentage or two. In 2023 he will take up just under 6% of the cap—considering how good he is, that is a steal.

Anyways, while some people were blown away by the money that Lindstrom got, it really isn't that bad when you look at the details. When you are outside the organization, cap space is usually the figure you look at, and if the cap continues to shoot up each year, the percentage of cap space he takes up could drop.

Next, we will look at where his contract ranks in total value, average annual value, and total guarantees compared to the entire NFL, all offensive players, all offensive linemen, and all offensive guards.

Where his contract ranks against specified group of players:

Group ranking against

Total value

Annual average


Entire NFL




Offensive players




Offensive linemen




Offensive guards




The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that Pro Football Focus gave Chris Lindstrom the highest overall grade in 2022, regardless of position. While PFF grades certainly aren't everything and there is also positional value in football, the 'best player' in the league signed a new contract that ranks 22nd in total value.

As for how his contract compares to the other highest-compensated guards, well, he is obviously at the top, which often happens with the most recent contracts.

5 highest-paid offensive guards (sorted by annual average):


Year signed

Contract years

Contract value

Annual average


1. Chris Lindstrom






2. Quenton Nelson (IND)






3. Joe Thuney (KC)






4. Zack Martin (DAL)






5. Andrus Peat (NO)






Basically, what you can take from this is that the contract won't look so crazy (if you can even say that) a couple of years from now. It was a smart move by Terry Fontenot to sign him to an extension when he did as it isn't going to have that big of an impact on the Falcons' cap space in the coming years—not to mention, his price tag was only going to rise.

Obviously, some of this information provided is subject to change in the coming years due to potential restructures of the contract if the Atlanta Falcons choose to do so.

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