Atlanta Falcons: Who should they retain on defense for 2016?


The Atlanta Falcons’ defense has played well above expectations in 2015, but there is still a lot of room for improvement going forward.

This Falcons’ defense features seven new starters and a handful of other role players from a season ago, but which of the current 11 starters will still be around going into the 2016 season? Let’s take a look at.

Of the current 11, only five players will have a “guaranteed” job going into 2015. Cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford will without a doubt be starting for the Falcons in 2016 while William Moore, Vic Beasley and Ra’Shede Hageman will all but likely be starters in 2016 as well.

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As for the others, they could either be out the door at season’s end, or in a backup role to someone else that the Falcons bring in. Let’s take a look at the biggest “bubble” players that very well could be unemployed in three months.

Middle linebacker Paul Worrilows’ contract will be up after this season while Adrian Clayborn, O’Brien Schofield, Kroy Biermann, Ricardo Allen, Phillip Adams and Joplo Bartu all have expiring contracts as well.

Of those players, Clayborn, Schofield and Allen will likely be resigned, but as far as the others go, there is a good chance they will be out of a job.

Moore is another interesting player to look at. He is still under contract for a few more years, but don’t be surprised if the Falcons try to dump his salary and part ways with him after the year is up. Moore is a great player, but he doesn’t seem to fit into what Dan Quinn wants to do and is always injured.

Brooks Reed will also be back, but likely will not be a starter. It’s safe to say that so far the signing of Reed was a bad decision.

The Falcons will need to address the following positions in the 2016 NFL draft and free agency.

  1. Linebacker
  2. Pass rush
  3. Safety
  4. Corner

Drafting a linebacker that can cover a lot of ground and be a playmaker is what Quinn will set his sights on in next years’ draft while the pass rush, which has been terrible yet again in 2015 will also be a big point of emphasis moving forward.

We should start to see a strong defense by 2017, but for now, the Falcons are making the best of things with a roster that is average at best. It’s a new era of football in Atlanta, folks. The future is bright!