How much longer will Grady Jarrett and Jake Matthews be in Atlanta?

When will the Atlanta Falcons longest-tenured players be replaced?
Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons
Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Among all the roster and coaching changes in Atlanta over the past decade, there have been two constants—one on each side of the ball.

Left tackle Jake Matthews has been the captain of the offense while defensive tackle Grady Jarrett is the captain of the defense. We often take these two for granted due to their consistency year in and year out.

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However, as we all know, all good things must come to an end. These two aren't getting any younger and the truth is that we could see their exit in the next few years.

How long do Jake Matthews and Grady Jarrett have left with the Falcons?

If two players deserve to win a Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons it is LT Jake Matthews and DT Grady Jarrett who have remained loyal to the team since they were drafted in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

The offensive lineman currently holds the record for most consecutive starts in franchise history. In contrast, the defensive lineman has fought tooth and nail on every down for the past nine seasons and was robbed of Super Bowl MVP back in 2017.

Things must happen quickly for the Falcons to get these two veterans a ring.

Jake Matthews' timeline in Atlanta

Starting with the offensive lineman, Matthews just finished the final year of his second contract and is entering into the extension years that he signed two years ago. He will be paid $55 million and is scheduled to become a free agent in 2027.

His cap hit will be $21.8 million in each of the next three seasons while his dead cap will drop from $34M this year to $12.5M and $6.3M in the next two years. This makes his release all the more likely as each year passes.

If the Falcons continue to see consistent play and health from their left tackle then expect him to finish out his contract.

He will then be entering his 14th season at the age of 35. If he continues to play consistently he could get a short, one or two-year extension.

Grady Jarrett's timeline in Atlanta

Similar to his offensive counterpart, Grady Jarrett is in the extension years of his big contract with the Dirty Birds.

He signed a three-year, $50.5 million extension two years ago and is going into his second year of the extension. He will count $20.4M against the cap these next two seasons. With his dead cap hit only being $4.1M next year, his release is possible come next year.

His health and play on the field will determine how things play out for the former Clemson Tiger. He is coming off a season-ending injury and, like the rest of us, isn't getting any younger.

By all accounts, he was worth the money up until his injury this past season. He is a veteran who has fought through injuries before so we cannot doubt his ability to bounce back from a torn ACL.

His production on the field will decide whether the Falcons sign him to another extension. With the leadership and respect he brings to the team, any production on the field would warrant a couple of years tacked on.

Unless Grady completely bombs this season or sustains another significant injury, expect him to at least play out the remaining years of his contract. His cap numbers are well worth the consistency and leadership.

As things currently sit, Jake Matthews has the better chance of sticking around the longest. His contract, health, consistency, and position make him less expendable, even as an older player.

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