NFL: Busy Falcons agree to deal with S Jessie Bates, retain OL anchor
The Atlanta Falcons signed Chris Lindstrom to a five-year extension Monday worth up to a reported $105 million, which would make him the highest-paid guard in the NFL.
Atlanta was busy Monday, also agreeing to a reported four-year deal with safety Jessie Bates, trading for tight end Jonnu Smith and reaching three-year deals with free agent defensive tackle David Onyemata and punter Bradley Pinion.
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The Falcons announced the Lindstrom deal Monday without disclosing financial terms. The other transactions can become official Wednesday.
Multiple outlets reported Lindstrom gets $63 million guaranteed. The new deal kicks in for the 2024 season and runs through 2028.
Finally free of the financial burdens of big-money deals signed during the franchise’s most recent peak, Atlanta entered free agency with the second-most salary cap space behind only the Chicago Bears.
Onyemata’s contract is worth $35 million and Pinion’s is for $8.65 million, including $4.325 million guaranteed, per multiple reports.
A second-round pick of the Bengals in 2018, Bates is expected to sign a four-year deal worth $64.02 million. The Athletic reported the deal includes $23 million in 2023.
Bates, 26, played last season on the franchise tag and said in January he was seeking a destination where he felt appreciated.
The Falcons and Smith are reportedly working on a revised contract.
He signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Patriots in March 2021, which included $31.25 million guaranteed. Under terms of that deal, Smith had cap hits of $17,228,529 in 2023 and $18,405,000 in 2024 with New England.
Onyemata, 30, has spent his entire career with the New Orleans Saints. In joining the Falcons, Onyemata reunites with his position coach in New Orleans, Ryan Nielsen.
Head coach Arthur Smith named Nielsen as the Falcons’ new defensive coordinator in January. He spent the past six seasons in New Orleans.
Smith also coached Jonnu Smith for the first four years of his career with the Tennessee Titans (2017-20). Jonnu Smith, 27, caught 55 passes for 539 yards with one touchdown in two seasons with the Patriots.
Lindstrom, 26, has started all 55 games he’s played in for the Falcons, who selected him No. 14 overall in the 2019 draft out of Boston College. He was a Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro selection last season.
Pinion, 28, averaged 45.9 yards per punt (41.2 net) with a long of 73 yards in his first season with Atlanta in 2022. He dropped 23 punts inside the 20-yard line with just two touchbacks and also handled kickoff duties.
Pinion played four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2015-18) and three with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2019-21) before joining the Falcons.
–Field Level Media
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