4. Jessie Bates
With the way the Atlanta Falcons' defense finished the season it is fair to question if they finally let go of the rope. It was a unit that carried Atlanta early in the season with no player having more impact than Jessie Bates. Imagine having the season Jessie did and still not managing to slip into the playoffs. What more can you ask for from your safety?
A deal that some questioned as an overpay is now clearly a bargain. Bates won the first Panthers game for the Falcons and made so many game-saving plays this season. There is a clear argument that without Bates on this roster the Falcons are a 4-5 win team at best.
Bates is a great piece for Atlanta moving forward and his epic season deserved a far better final chapter. Both with how the defense finished the year and the record Bates deserved better from this franchise. Signing Jessie Bates was clearly an offseason win for Terry Fontenot and will have a huge impact going forward. For 2023, however, it is clear Atlanta wasted a great season from one of their best players.