That point was hammered home Monday when the team agreed to terms on a three-year, $19.5 million extension with contract-year free safety Ricardo Allen, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. The deal keeps him under contract through 2021.
The Falcons have worked tirelessly to keep their playoff-level core of talent together for years to come. This offseason has seen Atlanta furnish extensions to quarterback Matt Ryan, left tackle Jake Matthews and kicker Matt Bryant, while handing a pay raise to All-Pro wideout Julio Jones. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett looms as the next target for new money.
Allen was a priority for the Falcons after the 2014 fifth-rounder appeared in all but two games over the past three campaigns. Previously tendered at the second-round level as a restricted free agent, Allen has improved against the run while logging six picks over the past three seasons.
If Allen's not a star safety or household name, he certainly fits in well with Quinn's scheme and remains a reliable presence for one of the NFL's top defenses.
At just 26, Allen is heading into his prime -- and the organized Falcons weren't about to let him get away.