5 Largest scheduled 2023 Atlanta Falcons cap hits

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4. Jessie Bates $9.5 Million projected cap hit

The biggest contract that Terry Fontenot has handed out to a non-Falcon free agent is to safety Jessie Bates. Atlanta paid Jessie this past off-season as part of a rebuild in the Atlanta secondary. Parting ways with Oliver and Casey Hayward the team leaned on their youth while bringing in Jeff Okudah and Mike Hughes.

Fontenot and Smith drafted Clark Phillips as well and added a myriad of depth options at the position. Bates is the biggest piece to that puzzle and should help clean up a lot of the issues that the Atlanta secondary dealt with last season.

If Okudah finally lives up to expectations paired with A.J. Terrell and given Atlanta's impressive safety and corner depth the biggest position jump for the Falcons could be in the secondary.

Bates was a key member of a Bengals defense that often carried Joe Burrow's team over the past two seasons. It is forgotten just how well that unit played lost in Burrow's swagger and the all-star talent at receiver. Bates was a big part of the reason the Bengals have been so close to winning it all each of the past two seasons and now he is anchoring the Atlanta secondary.