Atlanta Falcons: Only 2 UFA are worth bringing back in 2021
The Atlanta Falcons will have roster decisions to make at the end of the season.
This offseason is obviously going to see a lot of change within the Atlanta Falcons organization. Not only will there be a new coaching staff and front office but the franchise has 18 unrestricted free agents that will need to be addressed.
After a third straight disappointing season for the Falcons, the decisions on the future of those unrestricted free agents should be an easy one for 16 of them – bye-bye.
If you have not seen the unrestricted free agent list, click here.
So of those 18, who are the two, the Atlanta Falcons should keep? The answer should be obvious based on how they played in 2020 but just in case you are just coming out of a six-month-long coma, here are our suggestions.
Younghoe Koo has easily been the best kicker in the NFL this season and that isn’t debatable.
Koo has missed just two field-goal attempts all season for the Atlanta Falcons and while they were both pretty big kicks, he has still been the most dependable and reliable player that franchise has had in quite some time.
Of course, he has been rewarded with his first trip to the Pro-Bowl and will more than likely be an All-Pro when those votes are tabulated at the end of the season. Through the 14 games Koo has appeared in this season, he is 30/33 on extra points and 35 of 37 on field goals.
Koo has not missed a field goal under 30 yards this season, is 11 of 12 from 30-39 yards and is 8 of 9 between 40-49 yards, and is 8 for 8 from 50 and beyond.
He has been a great weapon for this offense and when you have a kicker that is essentially automatic once you get to the opponent’s 40-yard line that is a weapon you cannot part ways with. He will sign a long-term deal in Atlanta that will pay him a lot more than the $750,000 he made in 2020.
After missing 28 games the past two seasons, Keanu Neal has started 13 of the 14 games he has appeared in for the Atlanta Falcons in 2020.
To say the last three seasons for Neal have been a real disappointment is a major understatement – though he has shown signs of returning to his once hard-hitting self.
His first two seasons in the NFL with Atlanta Falcons made a lot of fans regret the booing they did when he was selected in the first round out of Florida. Neal was a Pro-Bowl safety that was among the hardest-hitting players in the league.
While injuries have played a major part in his drop off, he has still shown that he can be effective in Atlanta and should return.
Chances are there won’t be a big market for him in free agency and the Atlanta Falcons will benefit from the lack of interest in terms of the contract that they will sign him to. If the next Falcons head coach keeps Jeff Ulbrich on as the defensive coordinator, you will see Neal return to his Pro-Bowl level and will end up being a great second contract for the Atlanta Falcons.
While the next coaching regime will surely keep a few more than just these two Atlanta Falcons unrestricted free agents, these are the only two that should be should be brought back.