The Atlanta Falcons and right tackle Kaleb McGary have come to terms on a deal that will keep him under contract for the next three seasons.
Ian Rapoport had the news.
“Source: Kaleb McGary is signing back with the Falcons on a 3 year $34.5M deal,” Rapoport reported on Twitter.
There was speculation that the Falcons would use the franchise tag on McGary which would have given him a one-year deal worth roughly $18-million.
After watching Mike McGlinchey and Juwaan Taylor get contracts that put them at $17-million-plus per season, getting McGary at just over $11-million per year feels like a bargain.
McGary had a breakout season for the Falcons in 2022 after failing to live up to his first-round billing his previous three seasons. The Falcons declined to pick up his fifth-year option and let McGary hit free agency.
There was concern around the league that McGary might not be a good fit outside of Atlanta’s run-heavy offense, but that was a benefit to the Falcons. That concern helped keep his price down.
He was a round peg in a round hole for what head coach Arthur Smith and the Falcons wanted to do last year, and they hope he will continue the form that led him to be the No. 4 ranked offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus.
McGary and right guard Chris Lindstrom should be working together for several more years. Lindstrom signed a five-year contract extension with the Falcons on Monday.
While McGary was the No. 4 offensive tackle, Lindstrom was the highest rated player by Pro Football Focus at any position in the NFL.
With right tackle sorted heading in to the NFL Draft, the Falcons can truly focus on best player available and hope that one of those players is an edge rusher or cornerback.
If McGary had walked in free agency, right tackle became a big need, and offensive linemen like Paris Johnson, Broderick Jones and Peter Skoronski would have become probable targets.
The Falcons have had a successful-first week of the free agency period including coming to terms with big-ticket free agents David Onyemata (DT, Saints), Jessie Bates (S, Bengals) and Kaden Elliss (LB, Saints).
They also added quarterback depth in the form of Taylor Heinicke.
The Falcons survived two years of salary cap hell, and expectations in a wide-open NFC South will be sky high heading into the 2023 season.