Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said last week using the tag would be a possibility with the 25-year-old Jarrett as Jarrett heads into his fifth NFL season. Dimitroff has been in talks with Jarrett's agent, Todd France, regarding a long-term contract extension, yet the sides remain far apart.
"As we have said since the end of the season, getting a deal done with Grady is our priority," Dimitroff said in a statement Monday. "Applying the franchise tag to him does not change that in any way. Our aim is for Grady to be an integral part of our plan for many years to come and this allows us to extend our negotiating window."
Dimitroff mentioned the franchise tag as a possibility last week. The franchise-tag value for a defensive tackle is expected to be $15.21 million for 2019.
The non-exclusive tag means that Jarrett can negotiate with other teams, but any team signing him to an offer sheet would have to surrender two first-round draft picks if Atlanta doesn't match the offer.
Using the tag assures Jarrett won't reach free agency next week. It also gives the Falcons until July 15 to reach an extension or multiyear contract with Jarrett. If nothing materializes by then, Jarrett will play under the one-year tag and count $15.21 million against the salary cap in '19.
The Falcons view Jarrett, a 2015 fifth-round draft pick out of Clemson, as the anchor along the defensive line. He had more than 50 pressures last season and led the Falcons with 23 run stops, according to Pro Football Focus data. Jarrett had a career-high six sacks in 2018 to go with 52 combined tackles and three forced fumbles.
"The development that he's made over the last few years -- his energy on the field and his energy off the field with what he brings to our defense -- Grady's tangibles and toughness and quickness, all that makes him who he is,'' Falcons coach Dan Quinn said of Jarrett.
Heading into the offseason, Falcons prioritized a Jarrett contract extension and an adjustment to wide receiver Julio Jones' contract with two years and more than $21 million remaining. A source told ESPN not much was going on with the Jones contract talks as of this past weekend.