This deal for Matthews came just hours after Lewan's contract was announced, as the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is just one of multiple pieces on the Falcons' line who will soon get paid. Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitrioff mentioned the likes of Grady Jarrett and Ricardo Allen as targets for future contracts.
The 26-year-old has started all 63 games since coming in to the league, and is now only behind Lewan and Nate Solder of the New York Giants in annual salary for an offensive linemen. Solder is making $15.5 million per season. Matthews was part of a Falcons line that allowed just 24 sacks last season, which ranked third-lowest in the NFL.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks know how important their offensive line is when having a mobile quarterback like Russell Wilson. They extended a key piece for them on Saturday, signing left tackle Duane Brown to a three-year deal. The extension is worth $36.5 million, and was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The 32-year-old, who turns 33 in August, was going to make just $9.75 million this upcoming season, which was the final year of his current deal. That contract came from his time with the Houston Texans, whom the Seahawks acquired him from in a trade last season. This now locks him with Seattle through the 2021 season, as this agreement comes in the midst of safety Earl Thomas's holdout due to him not getting paid. Thomas has gone as far as requesting a trade, preferably to his hometown Dallas Cowboys, and has yet to report to training camp.
Brown is coming off his fourth Pro Bowl appearance last year, and was one of four key Seahawks entering the final year of a contract. That group included Frank Clark, K.J. Wright, and Tyler Lockett. Seattle felt like this was a good first move, as they feel that Brown is a good piece to keep around for an offensive line that needs to improve for Seattle's offense. They finished with just 1,027 yards rushing from non-quarterbacks last season, which was the fewest by a team in the NFL since the 2006 Detroit Lions.