It took some doing, but the Atlanta Falcons finally found a long-term replacement for retired team legend Matt Bryant. The club signed Younghoe Koo to the roster in 2019 with the hopes of making him Bryant's successor, and that's come to fruition three years later. The 27-year-old has officially agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday. The deal is worth $24.25 million that includes $11.5 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Koo was set to be a restricted free agent in 2022, but the Falcons opted to forego a tender and instead get right to making sure he doesn't suit up for another team before the conclusion of the 2026 season.
Having proven himself to be one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL, Koo climbed out of a rough start to his professional career to land where he is currently. An undrafted free agent signed by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017, Koo's stay would prove short after struggles eventually saw him join the Atlanta Legends of the now-defunct AAF, which is where the Falcons were able to get a closer look at him. He'd join the New England Patriots in 2019 as kicker insurance, but was released without seeing any game action.
The Falcons swooped in and signed him after parting ways with Bryant, and Koo has since been money with his boot -- logging a 94.9% and 93.1% field goal mark in 2020 and 2021 (earning his first-career Pro Bowl honor in 2020), and also making 100% of his point after attempts last season. This explains why the Falcons weren't willing to play the RFA tender game with Koo, and he's now their franchise kicker with a large bag attached to the coronation.