Atlanta Falcons the perfect landing spot for Sterling Shepard
Sterling Shepard is hitting free agency after the worst season of his career a fact that could work in the Atlanta Falcons’ favor. Atlanta is in a great position when it comes to free agency with $56 million in cap space and the ability to push that number over $70 million without making the roster any worse.
Atlanta finally isn’t going to be forced to shop in the bargain aisle in free agency able to chase any of this year’s top targets. Just because they don’t have to, however, doesn’t mean Atlanta shouldn’t pay close attention to potential steals.
Sterling Shepard could be exactly that coming off of a season that saw the receiver finish with only 154 receiving yards having played ten games in the last two years. Shepard has been a part of a number of bad offenses or paired with struggling quarterbacks. Bringing Shepard to Atlanta on a one-year prove-it deal is a perfect fit for both sides.
It allows Atlanta to add much-needed veteran depth to the position without adding a player that will demand touches over Kyle Pitts or Drake London. Even at this point in his career Shepard brings a measure of speed to the offense as well and would help Atlanta keep the defense honest.
Signing Shepard doesn’t block Atlanta from making other moves at the position either with the receiver working perfectly as the third option at the position. Arguably the perfect off-season from Desmond Ridder’s perspective would be signing a player like Shepard, bringing back McGary at right tackle, and drafting or acquiring another elite receiver to pair with Drake London.
These are moves Atlanta has to make if they are serious about building around the second-year quarterback. While they are able to avoid paying the most important and expensive position the team needs to be giving Ridder every chance to succeed and signing Shepard would be a step in that direction.