The Atlanta Falcons may have nailed their 2021 draft but there are some tough cuts coming up on the horizon. The Falcons still don’t have enough space to sign their draft class, yikes. They also are staring down the barrel of Calvin Ridley demanding a fat contract, yikes.
So, Terry Fontenot, time to prove what you’re all about and good luck. The Atlanta Falcons have already had to let go of some of their veteran players and rightfully so. The media coverage of the team’s cap space has been better than anything we saw on the field last year from their defense.
But that’s the bad news.
The Atlanta Falcons have some tough roster decisions to make coming up.
Other than ditching Julio Jones post-June 1, there is no clear and obvious move to make to get under the cap space. The Atlanta Falcons re-upped their commitment to Matt Ryan after restructuring his contract.
They doubled down on that by taking Kyle Pitts in the draft instead of a quarterback for the future.
Now, the roster is going to get sliced in death by a thousand cuts type of manner. Some young players are going to get the ax. You have to think a guy like Russell Gage may be on the chopping block.
Think about it, the Falcons have Jones, Ridley, Pitts, and Hurst to throw to. Gage is solid in the slot but his production can easily be replicated by Cordarelle Patterson.
Next on the block, you’d have to imagine is one of the four tight ends on the Falcons roster right now. It’ll most likely be Jaeden Graham. While that won’t save them much, it makes little sense for the Falcons to carry two purely blocking tight ends in this style of the NFL.
Then attention shifts to the defensive side of the ball. The Atlanta Falcons spent their second-round draft pick on filling a very obvious need by snagging Richie Grant. So who makes sense on defense: Deadrin Senat and Isaiah Oliver. Again, these cuts don’t save the Atlanta Falcons much but it saves them something.
Oliver is seemingly always struggling but for some reason, Dan Quinn and his staff were bullish in keeping him around. While losing him will mean throwing an even younger player into the rotation, the secondary can’t get much worse than it already is.
Still, let’s say you lose those four players, that barely makes a dent in the Falcons’ actual cap situation. While fans may not want to lose Julio Jones, he can very well be their best option to not being handicapped as the organization tries to move forward.