The Atlanta Falcons have made Chris Lindstrom the highest paid offensive guard in the NFL according to a report from Adam Schefter.
“Falcons are giving guard Chris Lindstrom a a five-year, $105 million contract extension, per source,” reported Schefter on Twitter.
Lindstrom will make $13.2-million this season on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. The $21-million per-year average on his extension will make him the highest paid guard in the NFL.
Because it is an extension, Lindstrom’s cap hit in 2023 remains $13.2 million, and he is under contract with the Falcons for the next six seasons.
Lindstrom was the highest graded player by Pro Football Focus (PFF) at 95.0 in the NFL… period… at any position.
Atlanta had the ability to lock him down for the next six seasons while remaining cap neutral for 2023. It’s brilliant, and only made sense for general manager Terry Fontenot.
The Falcons made a move earlier on Monday for New England Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith. Smith was a cap casualty in New England. The Falcons have the cap room to make a deal to pick up former big-ticket free agent who was very good with the Tennessee Titans under Arthur Smith.
Having cap flexibility is a foreign concept to this Falcons regime, but one they have been looking forward to for two years.
It remains to be seen if the Falcons will try and re-sign right tackle Kaleb McGary. McGary had a breakout season with the Falcons last year. He was drafted the same year as Lindstrom, but his fifth-year option wasn’t picked up like Lindstrom’s.
He’s scheduled to hit free agency on Wednesday, but there have been rumblings that he might not be the same guy outside of Atlanta. That he was scheme protected by a run-heavy Atlanta offense.
That might help the Falcons bring him back at a discount relative to his No. 4 offensive tackle ranking from PFF. Atlanta doesn’t care if McGary doesn’t fit in a more pass-oriented offense. He’s a round peg in a round hole for what the Falcons do.
As Albert Breer said above… Atlanta will be busy.