The Falcons saved roughly $4.5 million by cutting Tyson Clabo, which according to many estimates leaves them with somewhere between $6.5-8 million in cap space. The question is, what are they going to do with it?
As I see it, there's four possible ways the Falcons could use their newfound space, and quite a few combinations out of those possibilities. Let's take a quick walk through them.
Most of the big name free agents have been thinned out, but there's still useful players on the open market. The Falcons could shore up their secondary with Antoine Winfield or Usama Young, bolster the pass rush with John Abraham or Dwight Freeney or add depth at key positions for relative cheap. The Falcons are no longer in any danger of not being able to sign their rookie class, so they have a little money to play with on the open market.
Unlikely, perhaps, but I can't help but suspect that the Falcons didn't free up this much cash to take Thomas Dimitroff's family out to dinner.
The only trade candidate of any note this off-season has been Darrelle Revis. The Falcons would obviously drastically improve their secondary with a healthy Revis, but this would likely be expensive in terms of both picks and money. The Falcons could also see if teams are eager to offload any talented pass rushers, but I kind of doubt it.
Matt Ryan's Extension
The Falcons want to get an extension done with Ryan. By freeing up cap space, they could conceivably structure the contract in a way that creates a huge impact in year one and frees up a little space in 2014. I'm not sure that they'd cut Clabo just to do that, but you know, perhaps.
The Falcons could choose not to use the money on anything immediate, see about re-structuring a few contracts with an eye on helping out in the next couple of years or just throw lots of nice birthday parties. This strikes me as a farfetched possibility.
Where do you think the Falcons will use those dollars?