One of the biggest moves of the NFL trade deadline was Roquan Smith landing with the Baltimore Ravens. The Atlanta Falcons would have been an interesting fit for the former Georgia Bulldog and certainly could have used the help in the middle of their defense. Despite the surprisingly low cost of the trade, the Falcons made the right move staying out of the splashy deals and focusing on developing the players on their roster.
Mykal Walker has been inconsistent but has shown reason to believe he can develop into a solid starting middle linebacker. While Smith is an inarguable upgrade the loss of the draft pick and the pending extension ruled out the Falcons.
Atlanta is a team that went from a Super Bowl contender to a basement dweller in the NFC due to poor contracts and cap management. While the Super Bowl collapse and poor coaching can also be attributed to Atlanta’s struggles the new regime is well aware of Atlanta’s past history of signing big contracts.
Deion Jones is just the latest example of a player who Atlanta overpaid and now the team is dealing with dead cap and the fallout from poor decisions. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones both are notable names Atlanta signed to huge deals as well that the team is now dealing with while Jones is in Tampa and Ryan is riding the Indy bench.
Atlanta has made far too many mistakes and is yet to recover from them. They are still a season away from having cap space and being able to make impact moves once again. While Smith would have been an exciting acquisition that would have had a positive impact Atlanta didn’t need to make a move for a player that was expected to sign a big contract. This isn’t the time for Atlanta to use what little cap flexibility they have but to continue to practice patience and make big moves next off-season when the team has the cap space and the pieces to make a playoff push.