It is safe to assume that the majority of Atlanta Falcons fans feel the team would be better off letting Vic Beasley‘s contract run dry during this upcoming offseason.
Vic Beasley was taken by the Atlanta Falcons with the eighth selection in 2015. While his rookie season wasn’t great, he really stepped up his game in 2016. 15.5 sacks with 16 quarterback hits and 11 tackles for loss made it seem like the Atlanta Falcons found a true force on defense.
However, the three years that have followed played out a different story.
2017 and 2018 each saw Beasley account for five sacks each and only one fumble forced over those two years. Add on the low tackling numbers and you can see the frustration building among the fanbase heading into 2019.
With it being a contract year for Vic Beasley, you are right to assume that Beasley would try and hone in his 2016 self.
Going into the bye week, the Atlanta Falcons front office was trying to find ways to ship off Beasley because the team had no intention of resigning him and that would result in the former first-rounder walking for free if no other team wants to trade for him.
The Falcons were unsuccessful simply because no one wanted him, with good reason too.
In the first eight weeks of the season, Vic Beasley only got to the quarterback five times and ended up with 1.5 sacks. Furthermore, it took until Week 8 for Vic to get his third tackle for loss for the season.
Those just aren’t acceptable numbers that a guy drafted in the top 10 should put up. The lack of a pass rush in the first half of the season is what derailed the Atlanta Falcons 2019 campaign.
Now for the tricky part, Dan Quinn relinquished play-calling duties before the first New Orleans game and the difference has been very noticeable.
After only accounting for 1.5 sacks going into the bye week, Vic Beasley has more than quadruple that number, sitting at seven sacks on the year with two games left. There is a real belief that Vic Beasley can get to 10 sacks, the first time since 2016, by seasons end.
With upcoming opponents being Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, the opportunity is there for the taking for Beasley.
Tampa has allowed Jameis Winston to be sacked for a league-leading 43 times. In addition, Jacksonville has allowed for teams to sack their quarterbacks a total of 36 times. 27 of the 36 have been at the hands of Gardner Minshew.
Vic Beasley has also accumulated two forced fumbles in 2019, that’s one more than the past two seasons combined and the same total from his rookie season.
Probably the most impressive improvement for Vic Beasley from 2018 to 2019 is his missed tackle percentage. In 2018, Beasley missed 35.5% of his tackles, his 5.9% percentage in 2019 is a drastic improvement.
Big question this offseason
What do the Atlanta Falcons do? It is clear that Vic Beasley is playing for his job, whether it be for Atlanta or auditioning for other teams. Growing up as a lifelong Falcons fan in Adairsville, GA, you have to imagine the Vic wants to stay in Atlanta.
It is also very likely that if Beasley does continue to show improvements over the last few games, the team may be inclined to give him a soft deal.
However, this also lies in the future of Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff, who are both heavily expected to be gone at seasons end.
With the Falcons already in a major cap hole, it doesn’t seem beneficial for the team to bring back someone who has underperformed for the vast majority of his career, no matter if he showed improvement after coaching adjustments.
The Atlanta Falcons should test free agency and also draft an edge rusher to replace Vic Beasley.