3 Free agents do-overs for Atlanta Falcons from 2023

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3. Missing out on C.J. Gardner-Johnson

This may not be a popular take considering what C.J. did to Atlanta's logo as a member of the Saints secondary. However, this same energy that Gardner-Johnson brought to the rivalry is what he plays with on every single snap and would have been a great fit in Atlanta's secondary.

The Falcons have done a great job rebuilding the unit while spending very little (outside of Jessie Bates contract) but clearly, there would have been a place for Gardner-Johnson in this lineup. The Lions signed C.J. for a bargain considering his production and expected fit in the new defense.

Perhaps Atlanta never had a chance to land C.J. but considering the cost and the possible impact it is a move that was clearly missed out on. Gardner-Johnson was a huge part of an Eagles defense that helped carry Philly to the Super Bowl and clearly far outplayed the contract he was on. Signing for a short-term deal for a very reasonable salary was well within Atlanta's budget.

The flip side of this argument would be perhaps if the Falcons had landed C.J. instead of the Lions, Jeff Okudah wouldn't be in an Atlanta uniform this season.