Actually, the Falcons said re-signing Jarrett, 28, was a priority after the 2017 season, but they couldn’t reach a deal.
The Falcons have sparingly used the franchise tag on position players. The team put tag on cornerback Brent Grimes in 2012 for $10.28 million after the failed to reach a long-term deal. Before Grimes, they used to return punter/kickoff specialist Michael Koenen in 2009 for $2.4 million.
Jarrett’s value is very high after a stellar four years after he was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft.
OverTheCap.com and ProFootballFocus.com have projected that Jarrett is worth a five-year, $82.5 million deal with $46 million guaranteed. Spotrac has a lower five-year $76.2 million projection on Jarrett.
Jarrett had 52 tackles, six sacks, 16 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles and eight tackles for losses last season.
Jarrett’s rookie contract was a four-year, $2.527 million deal signed with the Falcons on May 8, 2015.
Jarrett has played in 61 games and made 46 starts. He’s made 179 tackles (95 solo) with 14 sacks, 31 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and 40 quarterback hits.
During Super Bowl LI, Jarrett tied an NFL record with three sacks against the New England Patriots. Since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, three other players have posted three sacks in the Super Bowl — Darnell Dockett, Kony Ealy and Reggie White.
Owner Arthur Blank, acknowledged that while some player contracts are getting more lucrative, he still believes that Jarrett and wide receiver Julio Jones will be “Falcons for life.”
Rams tackle Aaron Donald re-set the defensive tackle market with a six-year, $135 million deal, which had a $40 million signing bonus and $86.8 million guaranteed. The deal reached last year averaged $22.5 million per year.
The issue with Grady is likely how close the Falcons feel they need get to Donald’s deal.
Donald, who was drafted in the first round, had 29 sacks over his first four seasons. Jarrett has 14 sacks over his first four seasons.
The Falcons are also renegotiating Jones’ deal, which is projected to lead to a $20 million per year salary. The two sides are close to a deal.
“They are both great players, both Grady and Julio,” Blank told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently. “They both will be Falcons for life. I feel pretty good, comfortable and confident in saying that.”
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