The Falcons don’t have many plays on the roster to build on. Chris Lindstrom and Kyle Pitts are the two young attacking players who can be pillars in the rebuilding of the regime. And defensively, the only undeniable is AJ Terrellwho had the entire breakout campaign in 2021 and was predictably rewarded with All-Pro honors, even though he was snubbed from the Pro Bowl.
The trail of receivers that Terrell left in his wake is quite impressive – holding Deebo Samuel, Jaylen Waddleand Corey Davis to 0 yards in their respective matchups. Even more impressive, he gave up only 19 yards to Michael Gallup and 24 meters to Stefan Diggswho is without a doubt one of the best receivers in the game.
Atlanta has a star in the former Clemson Tiger. However, given Terrell’s pedigree, he won’t come cheap once his rookie deal ends, especially considering Neighborhood Denzel just signed a record-breaking contract extension with the Browns, which is worth $100.5 million over five years with $71.25 million guaranteed.
Browns signs Pro-Bowl CB Denzel Ward to a 5-year, $100.5 million contract extension that includes $71.25 million guaranteed, per source. At 24, Ward is the highest paid CB in NFL history.
CAA Sports’ Tory Dandy, who brokered the contract, confirmed the deal to ESPN
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 18, 2022
Ward’s deal eclipses Jalen Ramseyis $100 million and Marshon Lattimoreis $97.6 million as the highest total value for a corner in league history. It will also exceed Ramsey’s record average annual value of $20 million with an AAV of $20.1 million. Finally, Ward’s guaranteed money exceeds Ramsey’s $71.2 million. Locking up Terrell won’t come cheap.
This doesn’t even account for other corners like Alexander Jaire and Trevon Diggs, who will also be awaiting extensions. Alexander will undoubtedly become the highest-paid cornerback in the league as he is slated to enter free agency in 2023, which I’m sure the hands-free Cowboys will be leading with Diggs.
Diggs and Terrell are of the same caliber – Falcons fans will say Terrell is better and vice versa – so the latter’s agent will surely use Diggs’ contract at the negotiating table. Alexander will be on the front line; then it will be Diggs and Terrell, who will play in 2024 as part of their fifth-year options.
Photographer: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire