Falcons Exercise Jake Matthews' Fifth-Year Option

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The Falcons have picked up Jake Matthews' fifth-year option, ensuring the Falcons' starting left tackle will stay under contract with Atlanta through the 2018 season.

Players drafted in the first round are required to sign a four-year deal, giving their respective club the option to pick up the players' fifth-year option. The deadline to do so for 2014 first-round picks is May 3.

Matthews has started all 47 games that he's played in and has played a key role in Atlanta's offensive success during his three seasons with the Falcons. In his time protecting quarterback Matt Ryan's blind side, the 2016 NFL MVP has thrown for 14,229 yards and 87 touchdowns, leading an offense that averaged 415.8 yards per game last season, with a top-five rushing attack.

The former Texas A&M standout has opened up running lanes for running back Devonta Freeman, helping him earn back-to-back Pro Bowl honors.

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