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Falcons, Matthews agree to 5-year extension

Left tackle Jake Matthews on Friday agreed to a five-year extension through the 2023 season with the Atlanta Falcons, making him the third-highest-paid offensive lineman in terms of average annual salary in NFL history.

The total value of the extension for the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft is $75 million, as first reported by NFL Network and confirmed by ESPN.

“I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen this morning,” Matthews said. “You know, I was excited because I’m going to play ball. That’s all I ever really want to do is play ball with this team. I couldn’t be happier.”

General manager Thomas Dimitroff said Thursday that the Falcons were also focused on contract extensions with nose tackle Grady Jarrett and free safety Ricardo Allen. The deal also comes one day after the team agreed on a contract “adjustment” with wide receiver Julio Jones.

The deal comes hours after the Tennessee Titans signed left tackle Taylor Lewan to the richest deal for an offensive lineman in terms of average annual value in NFL history — a five-year, $80 million extension that includes $50 million guaranteed.


The 26-year-old Matthews, who has started all 63 games in which he’s appeared with the Falcons while serving the key role of protecting quarterback Matt Ryan, now ranks third on the list behind No. 2 Nate Solder, whose deal averages $15.5 million per season.

The Falcons’ offense averaged 364.8 yards, which ranked eighth in the NFL last season, and 5.93 yards per play (No. 3). The offensive line also allowed just 24 sacks, the third-lowest total in the league.

ESPN’s Vaughn McClure contributed to this report.

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