As the Atlanta Falcons have one preseason game everyone has a general idea on who is going to make the 53-man roster. This can also give us an indication on which players will not be in a Falcons uniform next season.
As with any preseason, there have been plenty of ebbs and flows for the Atlanta Falcons. Young guys like Jermaine Grace, Ito Smith and Jaeden Graham have made a name for themselves while players like Duke Riley, Ty Sambrailo and Bruce Carter could be seeing their time in Atlanta coming to an end in the next eight days.
However, with money becoming an issue in Atlanta, there are several Falcons that have expiring contracts or potential outs in contracts that will give the Falcons some flexibility if they say goodbye.
Losing De’Vondre Campbell next season is going to be a big loss for the Falcons defense. The Falcons made an excellent draft pick in 2016 selecting Campbell in the fourth round. Campbell is a fast, tall linebacker at 6’4 and has the speed to thrive in Dan Quinn’s defense.
Given the Falcons cap situation moving forward he is likely not going to re-sign. Campbell will have a higher pay day on the open market and is searching for $67.5 million over five years, which is what Anthony Barr got paid. On numerous occasions Campbell’s production has mirrored Barr and at times he has been a better linebacker.
The Falcons have started to budget giving new contracts to Deion Jones and Grady Jarrett. Julio Jones is also going to receive a contact extension in the near future. They also have to start thinking about paying Austin Hooper, Keanu Neal, and Damontae Kazee by next season. Sadly, Campbell is going to be the odd man out. Given the emergence of Jermaine Grace, Campbell’s departure will not be as drastic.
Many fans have different opinions about Beasley but regardless of his production during the 2019 season, he is not going to be on the Falcons next season. If Beasley has a fantastic year the Falcons are not going to be able to re-sign him because another team will give him more money.
If Beasley has another down year the Falcons are likely going to move on from him. A change of scenery could be best for him because we have seen former first round picks thrive on other teams like Eric Ebron and Dante Fowler. Plus given how much fans attack Beasley on Twitter, why would he want to stay in Atlanta?
This one will come as a surprise, but this could be Freeman’s last year with the team. During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Freeman has had trouble staying on the field because of injuries. He had fantastic seasons in 2015 and 2016 earning him a new contract.
His contract is going to be the reason why Freeman will not be with the team. Currently Freeman is one of the highest paid players on the roster and by cutting him the Falcons will be able to re-sign some of their other players. The contract has an out after the 2019 season and the Falcons will more than likely take that option.
Given the guarantee money the Falcons would be wise to make Freeman this year’s June 1st cut. Everyone is hoping he has a great year being the premiere back and hopefully being healthy this season. Even healthy it is unlikely Freeman finishes as a top five rusher because of the wide receivers on the team.
Freeman has been around for the Falcons for a while but there is a real possibility he is not with the team in 2020 because of his contract.