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.
The team also handed extensions to coach Dan Quinn and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, ensuring the club's heady nerve center will remain in place deep into the future.
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.