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'Transformation': Falcons DT Grady Jarrett Optimistic About Defensive Additions

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett expressed his approval of the offseason improvements during a recent interview.

There may be no bigger winner this offseason on the Atlanta Falcons than defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. The longtime captain of the Falcons' defense has plenty of new teammates that he has been working with through OTAs with after an offseason where the Falcons' front office splashed the cash in free agency. 

“It’s been a heck of a transformation,” Grady Jarrett recently said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution about the Falcons defensive additions. “It’s been something that I’ve been super excited about having veterans come in, guys who are ready to roll.”

After two prior seasons where Atlanta was forced to bide their time in free agency due to an unfriendly cap situation as they shredded the big contracts of stars like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. The Falcons built through the NFL Draft, not giving Jarrett much immediate help in the short term. 

But as evidenced by this offseason, it was all part of the plan, as the waiting game paid off in the form of over $60 million in cap space for the Falcons to spend. The newfound cap space was used to land veteran defensive line help Calais Campbell, David Oneyamata, and Bud Dupree; while also adding a utility linebacker in Kaden Elliss who can function as a normal insider back or an extra pass rusher in the form of a blitzer. 

So how does all of these signings affect Jarrett? Well it takes some pressure off in terms of production and even in leadership since he has a 15-year NFL veteran in Campbell playing next to him.

“It does take a load off my plate from a leadership standpoint and productivity standpoint,” Jarrett said. “It’s going to make everybody better.”

The comments from Jarrett struck a very different tone to the one he had at the end of last season. The 29-year-old was rightfully disappointed after the Falcons fell short of making the playoffs for the fifth straight season following their loss to the Baltimore Ravens

In the aftermath of the loss, Jarrett didn't hold back from letting his frustrations be known. "You try so hard, but same s***, different year," Jarrett said. The locker room leader certainly did his part in 2022 racking up 61 tackles, 12 for a loss and six sacks which is tied for the second-highest number of his career. ... But the talent around him just wasn't their. 

Like fans though, Jarrett is optimistic that it has changed after this offseason as the Falcons made moves to help push their team over the limit and make the postseason. 

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