Atlanta Falcons FA Targets: TE Julius Thomas
Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas (80) in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Cons: It’s widely accepted that Julius Thomas is the best tight end on the market, that means a hefty price tag will come with his signature on a contract. After cuts, the Falcons will have around $30 million in cap room, but that money needs to be spread out to plug up many holes in a porous defense, and to address problems with the run game. A team with a need at tight end is bound to overpay for Thomas’ services, and it would be dangerous for the Falcons to get into a bidding war with one or multiple teams.
Julius Thomas also isn’t really a game changing TE, such as Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski, but that won’t stop him from seeking game-changer money. Other than catching touchdowns, Thomas doesn’t really do anything else extremely well (granted, he doesn’t do anything else poorly either). He was rated the tenth best TE in the NFL in receiving (with a +3.3 rating); and considering how thin the position is, that isn’t very impressive at all. He broke or avoided two total tackles all season, and was only 24th among tight ends in yards after the catch. Maybe the most disturbing statistic about Thomas is that he only had 489 yards in 13 games last season; that averages out to just 37.6 yards per game. Paying a lot of money for a player whose game is predicated solely on touchdowns isn’t the wisest move to make.