3 affordable free agent targets for the Falcons this offseason

If the Falcons are going to throw big money at a QB, here's how they could ration out the rest.

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Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins / Perry Knotts/GettyImages
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At this point, most of the free agent conversation in Atlanta has been about quarterbacks.

The Desmond Ridder/Taylor Heinicke combo wasn't cutting it, and now that former Rams' defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is running things in Atlanta, it's probably safe to assume that neither will be in the Falcons plans moving forward. The conversation started with plenty of Russell Wilson and Justin Fields rumors, though those have fallen to the wayside a bit, replaced by whispers – growing louder by the day – that former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is interested in the Falcons, and vice versa.

While quarterback is indisputably the most important position of need for the Falcons this offseason, there are more than a few other roster holes that need to be addressed if they want to push Tampa for the NFC South title in 2024. Especially if they do land Cousins, a lot of those holes will need to be addressed with low budget signings – especially because the Falcons have some, but not a ton, of salary cap space (around $31 million in effective space, according to Over The Cap).

There figure to be plenty of options available, and these are three affordable free agents that the Falcons could target this offseason.

1. EDGE Leonard Floyd

To put it lightly, the Falcons' pass rush could have been better last year.

They finished toward the bottom of the league in sacks (42) and dead last in ESPN's pass rush win rate stat (35%). 37-year-old Calais Campbell and 31-year-old Bud Dupree were tied with the team lead in sacks (6.5), and only one other player – Arnold Ebiketie – managed to get above four. There's a good argument to be made that pass rushing isn't something the Falcons should try and go bargain hunting on, but if they give Cousins the money he wants, they may not really have a choice.

Enter Floyd, who's not exactly going to fix their age issue – he's 31 – but will help with productivity.

Floyd has had at least nine sacks in each of the last four seasons, and he set a career-high last year with 10.5. There are a ton of pass rushers on the market, which should help bring down Floyd's price – he's almost certainly not going to get the kinda money that Danielle Hunter, Bryce Huff, or Chase Young gets. Floyd is from Eastman, Georgia, and played college at UGA, so bringing him home on a short-term deal makes sense for both sides.