Earlier this week, when the Falcons moved money to placate Julio Jones, the Atlanta Brass players were determined not to upset their cap situation so they could pay younger players to go into contract years.
One of these young stallions was paid on Friday.
NFL network insider Ian Rapoport said Jake Matthews' falcons and left-hander approved a five-year, $ 75 million contract extension on Friday, a source said.
The team later confirmed the agreement.
Matthews entered the fifth and final year of his rookie deal to earn $ 1
The offensive tackle has begun immediately after being drafted in 2014 overall No. 6. Matthews has launched 63 of the possible 64 career games through the four seasons. Despite battling his way out of the gate, the 6-foot-5 left-wing attack developed into a stable force protecting Matt Ryan's blind side. Now the 26-year-old is being paid as one of the top blockers in the NFL.
Matthews' news came less than an hour after we learned that the Tennessee Titans handed Taylor Lewan (who wrote five points behind Matthews) a $ 80 million five-year contract. Matthews gets behind Lewan's record-breaking deal, but $ 15 million a season still places the Falcons lineman among the top three players in his position.
One thing is for sure: It was a good day to become an offensive lineman. Given the shortage of the position and rising payments, it will only be better for the upper echelon blockers.
Now that Matthew's deal is over, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff will focus his attention on locking defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and safety Ricardo Allen.