Falcons might have to move on from Keanu Neal

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Keanu Neal (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Keanu Neal (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

As the Atlanta Falcons continue their second-half resurgence, one has to wonder. What does this mean for the defense’s future?

More importantly, how should the Atlanta Falcons move forward with the talented, and oft-injured Keanu Neal?

Quite frankly, the Falcons should heavily consider moving on from the fourth year safety. Make no mistake about it, when healthy, he could be a top safety in the league. But that’s the issue.

Atlanta Falcons
That “when” seems to be growing smaller and smaller. Neal has played all 16 games only once in his four-year career. In two of those seasons, he didn’t even make it through the first quarter of the season. /

That’s a lot of risk and ifs to take for a cash strapped team, with dire needs at other positions.

The Falcons have shown that a simple coaching change (Dan Quinn giving up play-calling) and players trusting their technique (Isaiah Oliver making plays somewhat more consistently now) and a little pass rush (the Falcons are undefeated in games with Vic Beasley recording at least one sack) they could compete with anybody.

So the need for Keanu Neal, fails in comparison to the need for better corners, resigning Austin Hooper, and continuing to improve their offensive and defensive lines.

Since the Atlanta Falcons have already picked up his fifth-year option, trading him has to be on the table too. What picks or upgrades could you get for a young safety of his caliber.

Plus, in two years, Damontae Kazee has shown he can fit the bill of playing as a strong safety or nickel back alongside Ricardo Allen.

Keanu Neal is a great person and had the potential to be a great player, this isn’t a hit piece on him by any means. It’s a simple dealing with the facts of what the Falcons need to do to be a better team to compete for a championship.

dark. Next. Falcons continue to play for Dan Quinn’s future

Quinn wanted his Kam Chancellor but if he sticks around to coach this team after back to back losing seasons, he might have to imagine what that other safety position could look like. And the Falcons could succeed without number 22 roaming around the field.