Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal is entering his fifth season in the NFL. This is a season that will define his future with the franchise.
Keanu Neal has missed 28 games over the last two years, which is enough to make many people across the league forget that he even exists. However, the Atlanta Falcons are going to depend a lot on him in 2020 and are hoping that he is able to deliver like he did his first two years in the league.
FanSided NFL expert Russell Baxter, wrote an article this week and declared that Keanu Neal was the one player that the Falcons could not allow to enter free agency in 2021.
"There’s no doubt he’s has had his share of injuries in recent years, missing all but four games the past two seasons. And the club picked up his fifth-year option back in April of 2019. In his first two years, safety Keanu Neal was a difference maker – totaling 100-plus stops in each of those campaigns."
The Falcons obviously believe in Neal a lot and declared that love by picking up his fifth-year option almost a year and a half ago, but there are a lot of questions that he has to answer in 2020 if the Atlanta Falcons are going to consider giving him an extension.
During his first two seasons in the NFL, Neal showed little regard for his own life as he had highlight hit after highlight hit, and players across the league have felt his wrath. Our two favorites have to be the hit on Willie Snead as he races toward the end zone and the sideline hit on Mike Evans after Evans made an incredible one-handed catch.
By default, Keanu Neal is the gem of Atlanta Falcons 2021 UFA class
When looking at the Atlanta Falcons unrestricted free agents in 2021, there isn’t a lot to choose from, so Keanu Neal is the guy by default.
Other UFA for the Falcons in 2021 include Alex Mack, Todd Gurley, Charles Harris, Takk McKinley, Brian Hill, Matt Schaub, Demontae Kazee, Youngoe Koo, and several others who will be nothing more than special teamers in 2020.
If Keanu has a great start to the 2020 season, don’t be shocked to see the Falcons sign him to a three or four-year extension; one that will make sense for all involved.