Jake Matthews to continue the family tradition for five more years

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Falcons left tackle Jake Mattews,the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract extension. (Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter)

Signed a five-year $75-million extension

Bruce Matthews, the father of Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews, played 19 seasons in the NFL and has one of those yellow jackets from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The younger Matthews, who signed a five-year, $75 million deal Friday, might not make it to 19 seasons, but he’s now set to play at least through 2023.

“Anytime that I can get compare to him, it’s an honor because he was the best ever to do it,” Matthews said. “I’m really happy that they like what I’m doing and they are going to keep me around. I’m going to keep playing well and get better.”

Matthews was the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Texas A&M. He started immediately for the team after left tackle Sam Baker suffered a career-ending injury in the exhibition season.

Matthews has started 62 games over his career and has improved each season.

“We are really excited for him to have a longer time here,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “His commitment, his play, his style, certainly suits us.”

Matthews has played well, but has not received Pro Bowl votes from around the NFL. Falcons offensive line coach Chris Morgan said Matthews can continue to improve.

“Nobody has made it, man,” Matthews said. “There is always something that you can improve on.”

Matthews uses his father as one of his main resources.

“My dad, I talk to him almost every night, and the guy played 19 years,” Matthews said. “He told me that at the end of his last year that he felt there was a lot that he could still get better at. It’s a never-ending process.”

Matthews was one of the players the Falcons wanted to secure while they were dealing with a potential holdout by wide receiver Julio Jones.

Once Jones’ situation was handled, the Falcons moved to Matthews’ ongoing negotiations. The Falcons also have ongoing negotiations with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and free safety Ricardo Allen.

“I had a pretty good idea that it was going to happen (Friday) morning,” Jones said. “I was just excited to come out here and play ball. That’s all I ever really wanted to do is play ball with this team. I couldn’t be happier.”

With his deal done, Matthews can get ready for the season.

“I’ve always been very motivated and focused on what I have to do,” Matthews said. “After signing it, I’m committed to it and I will honor it. I’m going to come out here, work hard and keep getting better. That’s going to be the plan until I call it quits.”

Matthews just doesn’t know if he’s going to reach 19 seasons.