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Jackson, Falcons Settle Lawsuit

Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson’s lawsuit against the team has been “resolved,” according to his attorney Eric Farber of San Francisco. “Grady is very happy with it,” Farber told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. “Now he can focus on football.” A Falcons spokesperson acknowledged that the case was resolved and added that the team did not want to comment at this time.

According to the NFL Players Association, Jackson, who had signed a three-year contract with the team last year, now has a four-year deal. He is now set to make base salaries of $1 million in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Prior to those contract changes, Jackson was slated to make $1.5 million in 2007 and 2008 before the contract alterations. Neither side would discuss whether Jackson received an additional signing bonus, considering that the total base salary is the same despite the contract extension.

Jackson filed his lawsuit for defamation and invasion of privacy in the State Court of Fulton County, Georgia over the alleged release by Falcons officials of his medical records. A free agent at that time, Jackson alleged other teams shied away from signing him and he eventually came to contract terms with the Falcons for less than his market value. On April 27, the Falcons filed a petition to remove the case from State Court of Fulton County to Georgia Northern Federal District Court. The petition was before Judge G. Ernest Tidwell.

With Jackson’s situation cleared up, the Falcons defensive line situation automatically improves. Rod Coleman, the teams other starting defensive tackle, suffered a quadriceps injury in a watercraft accident and may miss up to four games. Jackson started all 16 games last season and helped the team improve from 26th against the run (128.9 yards per game) in 2005 to ninth (103.6). He led the NFL in tackles for loss with 13 and was the only projected starter on the defensive line to play in all 16 games.

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