Atlanta Falcons continue to be an easy target for criticism

Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Whether it is suggesting the Atlanta Falcons don't care about winning or acting as if the Falcons could have signed Lamar Jackson as free agency the disrespect has continued this offseason. The Falcons have earned a healthy amount of disrespect with how they have run their franchise.

Look at the last half decade and consider what happened the last time the Falcons were true contenders. These are clear reasons that the Falcons have become easy targets. It is easy to throw criticism on the lost franchise that passed up on Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Belichick and MVP Lamar Jackson.

What these continual criticisms miss is the facts of what actually went behind both decisions. First, let's consider the coaching decision. Yes, it is easy to pass off the Falcons failing to hire Bill Belichick as a shot at the franchise. However, why did the rest of the league pass as well?

The answer is simple and presents itself to anyone closely watching the league. This isn't the Bill Belichick who helped Tom Brady win his first Super Bowls by coaching an all-time great defense. Or even Belichick who put on a master class in the Super Bowl against the Rams shutting down a great offense.

The last four seasons the Patriots have been a lost franchise that has made a myriad of poor decisions. Drafting, coaching, situational decision-making, and quarterback decisions have all been objectively awful. It is a league focused on what you have done lately and Belichick would have been fired three years ago if he didn't have his extensive resume.

Atlanta hiring Raheem Morris is a better fit for the organization and avoids the headlines and unwanted stories that hiring Belichick will bring. Atlanta is focused on building a winning culture and since Tom Brady left New England where has the culture gone for the Patriots?

This brings us to the Lamar Jackson story that simply won't die. Let's make it clear the only way the Falcons could have signed Jackson is by giving up two first-round picks and building an offer Baltimore couldn't match. This may sound doable to those unfamiliar with how the cap works.

However, what this would have done is send the Falcons into purgatory with a franchise quarterback and no way to build a roster around him. Baltimore was never going to let Lamar walk away unless they were unable to match the offer.

Allowing him the chance to negotiate with other teams was simply a tactic to get other teams to create a deal they could match. Only a handful of teams in the league could have outbid the Ravens and even if they did they would have been left without any ability to draft or sign talent around the quarterback.

The Falcons were never truly in the running for Lamar Jackson. Chasing the quarterback would have been an exercise in futility. Just as signing Belichick as your head coach would have been.

As frustrating as these stories may be for Atlanta and their fans there is only one cure. Start playing winning football again and these stories will disappear.