As the deadline approached the Falcons inked their defensive line anchor Grady Jarrett to a four-year extension worth $68 million with $42.5 million guaranteed. The overachieving former fifth-round draft pick, #137 overall, out of Clemson made $1.9 Million in the final year of his rooking deal worth a total of $3.7 Million.
He signed the franchise tender in March to play the 2019 season for $15.2 Million both sides wanted a long term deal they agreed before the 4 pm stroke of the clock. Comparing his 2018 salary ($1.9 Million) to his 2019 ($17 Million), that’s one heck of $15.1 Million raise. The deal makes him the third highest-paid defensive tackle behind Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox however he hasn’t been voted to the Pro Bowl.
It’s great to be rewarded based on your performance. Imagine if that philosophy spilled over into the real world.
The risk for Jarrett was an injury with an uncertain future on a one year guarantee. For the Falcons it was a large salary cap hit with the potential of losing their best defensive lineman. One they drafted and developed. However, they had to strike that balance of not paying too much because they have to sign other key players mainly Linebacker Deion Jones and All Worldwide receiver Julio Jones. Unfortunately the business of sports “each player wanting the max” dictates the release of your best players. Perhaps the blessing in disguise was the two games he missed last season. The defensive line was trampled.
Since his arrival in 2015, he has been impressive playing in 61 games with 46 starts, contributing 179 tackles (95 solos) with 14 sacks, 31 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, and 40 hits on the quarterback.
Last season, a contract year, he had a career-high six sacks, 16 hits on the quarterback, and three forced fumbles. He also tacked on 52 total tackles and eight tackles for loss.
His most impressive game wearing the red and black was on the big stage sacking Tom Brady three times in Superbowl Ll to tie the record. His achievement is memorialized in section 300 at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Jarrett tweeted after the game
“Hurting for my City n for my brothers, I
thank God for the opportunity, but at this point, there’s nothing to do but to
go back to work.” #Bless
It’s that mentality and work ethic that makes him one of the best interior linemen in the game now he is paid accordingly. “As we have said since the end of the season, getting a deal done with Grady has been a priority, and we are pleased to have accomplished that today,” General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “Grady is an integral part of our organization, and we look forward to moving together for many years to come.”
As good as he is on the field he is as good off he is deeply rooted in the community in which he grew up
In 2018, he was named the Atlanta Falcons Man of the Year for taking the great initiative in leading the Atlanta Falcons social justice efforts and continuing his anti-bullying campaign, “Big Men Don’t Bully.”
Jarrett is only 26 years old at age 30 he should have some fire remaining in the tank.
It’s one thing to play as an overachiever, but now the expectations will be as high as the salary increase.
Stay tuned for the results.