INDIANAPOLIS – Amidst the craziness of the coming free agency period and the 2019 NFL Draft, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is zeroed in on the biggest priority for his team right now: ensuring Grady Jarrett remains a Falcon.
"We're working diligently on [a new deal for] Grady Jarrett, that is our focus and that will continue to be our focus right now," Dimitroff said from the NFL Scouting Combine. "[I am] confident that that's going to get done."
Jarrett has been one of the Falcons best defensive players for the past three seasons. Atlanta's defense sorely missed Jarrett's presence when he was sidelined for two games with an ankle injury last season.
A defensive line without Jarrett wreaking havoc in the middle isn't something the Falcons plan on happening any time soon.
If the Falcons and Jarrett's representation do not come to an agreement by March 5, Atlanta could apply the franchise tag giving both sides more time to negotiate. If the tag is placed on Jarrett, the Falcons and Jarrett's camp have until July 15 to agree on a multi-year deal. If they are still unable to come to an agreement by then, Jarrett would then play under a one-year tag.
Another priority for Dimitroff this offseason is to re-negotiate Julio Jones' contract. Prior to the start of the 2018 season, Jones and the Falcons agreed a new contract would be in place before the 2019.
All appears to be headed in the right direction for both situations.
"Julio Jones, [I'm] not worried about it, [we] still do not have a timetable on that, [but] we're in a really good place with Julio," Dimitroff said. "By seasons begin, we will be in a good place with him as well."
Jones caught 113 passes for a league-leading 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns in the 2018 season.