The Atlanta Falcons will make an aggressive move to retain wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. ESPN Falcons writer Vaughn McClure is reporting the Falcons will place a second round tender on the restricted free agent.
Gabriel has three years of accrued service time, which means he is a year away from unrestricted free agency. If the Falcons want to retain him (which they do), and do not agree to terms on a contract extension, they must place a tender on him. They can place an original round tender, a second round tender, or a first round tender. Gabriel first joined the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent, which means an original round tender would be nothing more than right of first refusal on a contract offer. If Gabriel signs the tender offer, he gets a higher one-year salary as a 2nd round tender than original round tender, but less than if he had been a first-round tender. Tender amounts are finalized with the new salary cap next week.
Kyle Shanahan was a big reason the Falcons signed Gabriel after the Browns released him. The two had worked together in 2014, during Shanahan’s one year as Cleveland’s offensive coordinator. If the Browns had used an original round tender, I could see the 49ers pouncing. But the second round tender makes it highly unlikely they make a push for the receiver.