With the NFL Draft over and the Atlanta Falcons freeing up a little over $12 million after June 1st, there are some free agents that could still make an impact.
Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn have had a solid offseason so far, making some free agency splashes with Dante Fowler and Todd Gurley along with a draft class that fills multiple needs on the defensive side of the ball.
However, there is no such thing as too much depth on an NFL team, and with around $12 million coming off of the books due to the Desmond Trufant cut, the Atlanta Falcons will have some money to play around within the coming weeks.
Now yes, they will have to pay their draft class, which will be around $6 million. However, it’s not out of the question to assume they could trade out one of Jamon Brown or James Carpenter due to the acquisition of Matt Hennessy (great last name) in the draft. But for the sake of this article, we won’t throw any hypothetical trades around.
So here are three remaining free agents the Falcons should target:
I’m personally a big Everson Griffen fan, and I believe his veteran presence could make a huge impact on a relatively young Atlanta Falcons pass rush. He would be a great option to add to the defensive edge rotation and could mentor someone like Takk McKinley the way Dwight Freeney was able to pull the best out of Vic Beasley, which led to a career and NFL-best 15.5 sacks that season. I think he will receive a contract similar to the one the Falcons gave to Allen Bailey the last offseason.
Kurt’s prediction: 2 years, $12 million contracts (team option for the second year)
Like Griffen, I am also a big fan of Delanie Walker. He has been a productive tight end for a while in Tennessee, but injuries have derailed his past two seasons. But when healthy, he is a fantastic pass catcher as well as a solid run blocker and would be a great compliment to Hayden Hurst and the continued development of Jaeden Graham. I say the Falcons take a flyer on a healthy veteran who’s last year could just be in Atlanta.
Kurt’s prediction: 1 year, $2 million base contract with incentives
Now if the Falcons aren’t willing to give the contract that Everson Griffen is likely demanding, a good fallback option is definitely Clay Matthews. After a disappointing year in Green Bay in 2018, Matthews bounced back with the LA Rams, notching 8 sacks as a situational pass rusher. He would fill that same role with Atlanta, providing another pass rushing option for Raheem Morris on passing downs in the team’s nickel and dime packages. Clay will also be able to team up with his cousin, Jake Matthews.
Kurt’s prediction: 1 year, $4 million contract
These three players provide the Falcons with some options to either solidify the tight end position with a veteran presence and provide more ammunition for the Atlanta pass rush. All of these choices would improve their chances at a playoff run in 2020.