Taylor Gabriel is officially under contract for the 2017 campaign.
Fresh off a breakout 2016 season, the unrestricted free agent signed his second-round tender worth roughly $2.8 million with the Falcons, the team announced Saturday.
Atlanta was never really at a risk of losing Gabriel to another team in exchange for a second-round pick. Gabriel said in February that he wanted to stay with the organization “forever”. The wideout even showed up to workouts this week having signed the deal.
Gabriel was a surprise star in his first season with the NFC champions, emerging as a speedy slot option for league MVP Matt Ryan, recording a league-best 139.9 passer rating when targeted and scoring a career-high seven touchdowns. The 5-foot-8 receiver signed with the Browns in 2014 after going undrafted out of Abilene Christian. Gabriel spent two years in Cleveland, scoring one touchdown and recording 862 receiving yards on 64 catches.
Whether new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian uses Gabriel in the same way in the offense he inherited from Kyle Shanahan is a mystery. But whether the receiver will start training camp in a Falcons uniform no longer is.