Should the Falcons resign wide receiver Russell Gage?
The Atlanta Falcons have so many decisions to make on their roster, but it seems like out of all the positions, wide receiver is where they have the most decisions to make.
Should they keep or trade Calvin Ridley? What wide receiver should they sign in free agency? Should they take a receiver with one of their first three draft picks? And of course, should they elect to give Russell Gage a new contract?
Russell Gage had a very up and down season in 2021
Russell Gage came to the Falcons as a sixth-round pick out of LSU. He did not have much of a role as a pass-catcher at LSU, but Atlanta saw something in him that made them think he could turn into a quality player, which he certainly has done.
Russell Gage’s expectations have risen every year, leading him up to last season when he was expected to be the team’s number two wideout after Julio Jones was traded, but little did the team know that he would end up becoming the number one guy on the outside.
After Calvin Ridley announced he would be taking a break from football to focus on his mental health, Russell Gage was pushed into a situation that was less than ideal for the Falcons, he was expected to take over the role that Julio Jones manned over the past decade.
Prior to Calvin Ridley taking a break, Gage had been struggling as he had not logged more than 67 yards in a game.
When Gage took over as the top wide receiver, he played a bit better and had a couple 100+ yard games down the stretch of the season, but it still was not what you want from your top receiver.
In all fairness to Gage, he should not have ever been put in that position, he simply is not a number one receiver in the NFL, he is best suited as a third option in the passing game.
With all this being said, should the Falcons pay up to be able to retain Russell Gage?
The answer is one that is not cut and dry but is leaning toward letting him walk. Gage will likely be able to get more money than people are expecting, and Atlanta does not have the money to pay for a luxury-type player on the offense.
The team needs to be focused on finding a true number one receiver if Ridley is not coming back. Maybe you could make the argument in signing Gage if Ridley will be an Atlanta Falcon in 2022, but that is still very unclear.
It will be a very difficult decision for Terry Fontenot as Russell Gage has been a familiar and serviceable player for the Atlanta Falcons.