By Itoro N. Umontuen
As the three day mandatory minicamp got underway Tuesday at the Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett participated, even though he is seeking a long-term contract. Jarrett is playing under the franchise tag, that will pay him $15.2 million this season.
Jarrett did skip the organized team activities earlier in the spring.
“(My representatives) are going to handle all of that,” Jarrett said. “I am here to talk about football and being back around my teammates. I missed my guys.”
Jarrett, 26, is rising star on the defensive line. The Conyers native has proven to be great against the run. In his four years with the Falcons, Jarrett has tallied 179 total tackles and fourteen sacks (ten of the fourteen sacks has come in the last two years). By comparison, Fletcher Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles has 186 tackles and 32 sacks since 2015. Cox was rewarded with a new contract that paid a $26 million signing bonus, $63.2 million guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $17,100,000. By all accounts, Jarrett will fetch around $17 million if the Falcons resign him or hits the open market next season.
“We have a salary cap, we have limits, that we have to think about not only today but tomorrow, and we have to balance all that off,” Blank told ESPN as he spoke regarding the contract statuses of Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones and Julio Jones. “But these are three great young men that we care deeply about, both personally and professionally. They are going to be Falcons for life.
“I’m not worried about getting the deals done. I’m speaking on behalf of Atlanta and Atlanta fans. Thomas [Dimitroff] is working hard to get them done. Coach [Dan] Quinn is supportive as well. It will happen. It’s just a matter of when.”
This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Voice.