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Falcons Future: Should Atlanta Trade Grady Jarrett?

Grady Jarrett is one of the few viable trade pieces the Falcons have. Should the Falcons shop him, or extend his contract?

Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Grady Jarrett is coming off of back-to-back Pro Bowl selections. After a slow start to the season, Jarrett has returned to making impact plays week-in and week-out.

He had just two quarterback pressures in the Falcons first two games, but he's had at least two in all but one game since Week 5 against the New York Giants.

"Always being somebody the offense has gotta account for, is something I take pride in," said Jarrett. "On a personal level, you always want the stats, but you do the job that's asked of you. Make the plays when they're there."

"At the end of the day, if I'm the best me, if I'm being the best for my team, everything else will come."

Jarrett has one year left on the four-year $68 million contract he signed in 2019. His salary cap number jumps from $20.8 million to $23.8 million in 2022 with a dead cap number of just $7.3 million.

Meaning if Jarrett was moved before the 2022 season, the Falcons would save $16.5 million on the salary cap, money left to invest in other areas. Would a 28-year-old multiple Pro Bowl interior defensive lineman fetch a premium-round draft pick?

A premium pick, and $16 million in additional salary cap space?

That could be tempting.

However, moving the team's only plus defensive lineman (and an extremely popular player with the fans) doesn't seem like a particularly good move.

Jarrett is currently ranked as the 23rd defensive lineman of 123 by Pro Football Focus. By contrast, fellow starters Tyeler Davison and and Jonathan Bullard are ranked at 102 and 77, respectively.

The Falcons are much more likely to try and give Jarrett a contract extension that would keep him in Atlanta for the foreseeable future and free up cap space in 2022.

But would Jarrett want to stay in Atlanta?

"I'm enjoying playing right now," said Jarrett after practice on Thursday.

Jarrett is from Georgia, but he's under no illusions that the NFL anything other than a business.

"I’m from the city, but the league is what the league is,” Jarrett said in May.

As one of the few viable trade pieces for general manager Terry Fontenot, the Falcons might be tempted to listen to offers for Jarrett in the offseason. Fontenot would do well to keep those conversations short. 

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