Will the Atlanta Falcons retain ERFA Nate Landman this offseason?

After a breakout season, Nate Landman is an 'Exclusive Rights Free Agent' which gives the Atlanta Falcons an easy avenue to retain him for another season

Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Not often do you see a free agent labeled as an 'exclusive rights free agent' but that is what the Atlanta Falcons have with their breakout linebacker Nate Landman.

After only being in the league for two seasons, the Falcons have as much control over their soon-to-be free agent Nate Landman. It should result in a no-nonsense re-sign by Terry Fontenot and new head coach Raheem Morris.

Atlanta Falcons have all the control with ERFA Nate Landman

In the NFL you typically see new players play out their four-year contracts and become free agents. But if you take an unusual route through the start of your NFL career you can wind up as a 'restricted free agent' or, in the case of Atlanta Falcons LB Nate Landman, an 'exclusive rights free agent.'

If you have been in the NFL for four years or longer, you find yourself as the typical free agent who is allowed to sign anywhere. If you only have three seasons then you find yourself as a 'restricted free agent.'

But for Nate Landman, who has only been around for two seasons, he is an 'exclusive rights free agent.' And if you want a summary of what that means here is one: He has zero power.

The Falcons can essentially sign him to what is a one-year, league-minimum contract.

Landman would have two choices: roll with it or not play in the NFL.

If the Falcons for some reason didn't extend the offer, Landman would become a free agent who can sign with any team and the Falcons would get no compensatory picks in return.

Sounds like a rough spot to be in for Landman but the NFL is a league where you often have little control as a player.


This might be Terry Fontenot's easiest decision of the offseason. Even if he weren't a perfect fit for the new scheme, paying a linebacker—who nearly made the Pro Bowl—league minimum is a no-brainer. I can confidently say that Nate Landman will return to the Atlanta Falcons.

The only way he doesn't would be if Fontenot and the team decide they want to play ethically and allow Landman to get the money he deserves. From a business standpoint, however, extending him an offer is hardly a decision.

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