The Falcons have agreed to terms with Grady Jarrett to sign a three-year extension, the organization announced on Tuesday. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was the first to report the deal.
Jarrett was already on the books for the 2022 season as it was the last year under his old contract. Now, his new deal runs through 2025.
Jarrett has been a cornerstone of the Falcons defense since he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. And even in a year with a lack of sack production from the defensive tackle, opposing offensive coordinators in 2021 knew where he was at all times, usually sending two or three offensive linemen to handle him.
Finding and developing help around Jarrett on that Falcons defensive line is the next step for this organization. It's something the Falcons were well aware of going into the 2022 NFL Draft, taking a duo of outside linebackers off the board on Friday and Saturday to help remedy the issue.
"The thing you have to be able to do is you have to have somebody to put next to (Jarrett)," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said at the end of the 2021 season. "... The thing is that we just need more. We need to develop pass rushers. That'll help Jarrett if all of this pressure isn't necessarily put on him."
The Falcons parted ways with Tyeler Davison this offseason. So, as it stands, the Falcons defensive tackle position includes Jarrett, Marlon Davidson, Anthony Rush and Ta'Quon Graham. The Falcons also added Vincent Taylor on a one-year deal last month.
With a new staff and new defensive play caller coming in last season, many were curious how Jarrett would fit into Pees' scheme, overall. Though Jarrett was superb for the Falcons from 2017 to 2020 (never grading out to less than an 80 on PFF through those four seasons), how he would fit in Pees' system was a huge question. He didn't fit the mold of what Pees usually went for in the interior of his defensive front. It didn't take long for Pees to fall in love with Jarrett, the player and the person.
"I can't say enough great things about the guy in every aspect of his life, from my standpoint – as a football player, being around him as a person, everything about him," Pees said. "There's nothing I can find negative about the guy. To me, he's what all young players at the defensive line – all young players, period, on defense – that's what they should aspire to be like, that guy. That's a professional football player that takes his job serious on every aspect."
A year later, it would be safe to say Jarrett fits, and even if he didn't, Pees was going to fit his scheme to Jarrett.
"We love Grady... I love Grady," Arthur Smith said at the league's owners meetings in March. "We'd love to keep coaching him."
And, lo and behold, they will continue to get to do so.