Atlanta Falcons lose pass rusher to Jim Harbaugh's LA Chargers

Atlanta Falcons v Arizona Cardinals
Atlanta Falcons v Arizona Cardinals / Mike Christy/GettyImages

The Atlanta Falcons had maintained interest in Bud Dupree throughout the offseason. The veteran pass rusher was a big part of Atlanta's defense in 2023 and arguably their best all-around edge rusher. Bud Dupree has officially moved on signing a two-year deal with the Chargers and joining Harbaugh's defense.

It is unlikely that the Falcons were willing to match the second year that the Chargers offered. Bud Dupree was a great veteran addition but with Atlanta's limited cap space and long-term need for the position kept this from being a clear fit.

For the Chargers, you already have your franchise pass rusher and great defensive pieces. They are working their way out of a bad cap situation and Dupree serves as cheap depth with a high ceiling. Harbaugh's team is one to watch closely when you consider what happened the last time that the head coach took over an NFL job.

Atlanta's inability to bring back Dupree or Campbell is a concern when you look at the pass rushing options on the roster. There is hope for Ebiketie to take a leap with more snaps but the concerns defending the run and finishing plays are obvious. Even if the edge does take this leap can he improve enough to keep him on the field?

Lorenzo Carter is a finished product at this point as an effort player who is going to struggle to get to the quarterback and excel at defending the run. This leaves all hopes of improvement on the rookie Trice.

Historically even pass rushers that develop aren't going to put up huge rookie seasons. Expecting Trice to be an instant answer would be misguided. While he will play a role the rookie shouldn't be relied on as a primary pass rusher going into the year.

With limited cap space, the Falcons should still be considering potential free agent fits and who they could bring in to help their young pass rush.