Atlanta Falcons offseason positional expectations: Safety/specialist
The Atlanta Falcons safety group is a mess.. specialist not so much
There should not be much change for the Atlanta Falcons on special teams. While the team just signed punter Dom Maggio, Sterling Hofrichter should still be the guy in 2021. Kicker Younghoe Koo is currently a free agent but should be a priority resigning. Long snapper Josh Harris should return as well.
The only real question is returner as Brandon Powell is headed to free agency and his return is questionable. There are options on the roster, but it will come down to a camp battle to find the new man here. Chris Rowland will be a player to keep an eye on, he excelled as a return man in college.
Safety on the other hand is an absolute mess as the Falcons are currently headed into the 2021 season with only two players under contract.
Jaylen Hawkins, T.J. Green
The Atlanta Falcons chose to move on from Ricardo Allen already this offseason. The cut was expected as the Falcons needed the cap space and to find a more dynamic player at free safety. Rico is one of the class acts in the NFL, from his dedication on the field to his involvement in the community.
Unfortunately, the NFL is a business, and it was simply time to make a change.
Jaylinn Hawkins was a rookie in 2020 and played a limited role. Most of his snaps were on special teams but he logged a few reps at free safety. Hawkins will be nice depth and can start in a pinch but it is too early to expect much from Hawkins in 2020.
Green was drafted in the second round by the Colts in 2016, he was with the Colts for two years before heading to Seattle for a year and has since bounced around the NFC South practice squads having spent time in New Orleans and Carolina before coming to Atlanta.
After the season he was signed to a reserve/future contract. While originally a second-round pick, he has not been able to live up to the draft position. He started 30 games in Indianapolis but has only been active for two games since.
Neither Hawkins of Green are starting any time soon, leaving this position group in dire straits headed into the off-season.