Is Neal Next To Get Paid On Falcons Defense?


The Atlanta Falcons signed both linebacker Deion Jones and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett to contract extensions prior to the 2019 season.

Jones, who the Falcons drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft, signed a 4-year, $57 million contract.

Jarrett, who the Falcons drafted in the fifth round of the 2015, signed a 4-year, $68 million extension.

Who will be the next defensive player to receive a big-time contract?

"My answer to the question wants to be Keanu Neal," Andy Bunker said. "I want Keanu Neal to be the guy at the end of next year who has the right to ask for that."

Neal is recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered in Week 3 of the 2019 season. It's his second year his season ended prematurely due to injury. He tore his ACL in the season opener in 2018.

"We saw what the Falcons defense looked like the last time Keanu Neal played 16 games. They were a top 10 defense. And I'm not saying him being hurt the last two years is the only reason things haven't worked out but it's a big part of why things haven't worked out."

The Falcons have other defensive players who could potentially garner big contracts.

Takk McKinley's fifth-year option was declined meaning a productive season could mean a bigger contract.

Andy and Randy also mentioned defensive back Damontae Kazee who has emerged as a star in the Falcons backfield.