The Atlanta Falcons will mostly likely not make any big splashes in the offseason.
I have a hard time seeing any of that happening, though, for multiple reasons.
For one thing, the Falcons really don’t have that many needs.
This is still by and large the same team that went to Super Bowl LI. They’re loaded on offense and ascending on defense.
Free agency could create some holes at defensive tackle and wide receiver, and they could certainly stand to upgrade at guard, but this is not a team riddled with holes.
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As such, they don’t need to make many moves, or at least not big, splashy ones.
Secondly, Atlanta doesn’t have a lot of money to spend in free agency.
Depending upon what source I’ve looked at, I’ve seen them at anywhere between around $13 million and $19 million under the cap.
They also have determined that they want to re-sign Matt Ryan to a contract extension, and it remains to be seen if that can be structured in such a way as to free up more cap space.
It may, in fact, take up more space.
I’d expect, instead, to see Atlanta look for second- or third-tier free agents who they feel fit their schemes.
By the same token, don’t expect any big-name trade acquisitions or waiver wire pickups.
It’s fun to think about Aqib Talib, Muhammad Wilkerson, or Ndamakong Suh suiting up for Atlanta, but the reality is they’d just cost too much in terms or cap space and – in the case of a trade – draft picks and/or players.
Additionally, in the specific examples of the individuals just listed, those are personalities that I don’t believe would be good fits for the locker room.
I have a hard time seeing those players buying in to the “Brotherhood” mentality.
Then there’s the Draft.
The Falcons hold the twenty-sixth pick in the first round. By that point, the elite talent will be off the board.
There will be no Minkah Fitzpatrick, Bradley Chubb, or Quenten Nelson available.
Even the next level of players, guys like Vita Vea, Da’Ron Payne, and Derwin James, will likely be gone.
I think Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn will still be able to get a player who can step in and start with the twenty-sixth pick, but he won’t be a “can’t-miss”type of prospect.
The likelihood of a Jones-esque trade up to get a super-blue-chip guy is slim, I think.
The Falcons are already short one pick in this draft – the fifth-rounder to Denver for Ty Sambraillo – and don’t look to be in line to get any significant compensatory picks, so there’s not a lot of ammo in the can to make such a trade.
I don’t think trading future picks is in the cards, as I have a hunch Quinn and Dimitroff aren’t sold on any prospects in this draft like Dimitroff and Mike Smith were with Jones.
Then again, I didn’t really see the Jones trade coming until the last minute, so what do I know?