Few Falcons Veterans Are Truly Safe This Offseason

Kevin C. Cox

Nobody should get too comfortable.

If you've been trawling the Interwebs for Falcons news and analysis in the last couple of weeks, you've undoubtedly seen writers telling you not to get too comfortable. Scott Carasik at Bleacher Report provides a good example of what I'm talking about.

This is a needed note in this offseason, where optimism is running rampant. The Falcons may well be a greatly improved team in 2014, but whether or not that success comes, there's veterans who won't be around to see it.

It's a simple numbers game. The Falcons ripped out the floors on the defense and brought in a nine-man draft class that featured seven defenders, and as the Falcons alter their scheme to emphasize more 3-4 looks, players who have traditionally been quality fits no longer are.

Take Cliff Matthews. The former seventh-round pick has been a fine reserve for the Falcons for years now, and his ability to move between defensive tackle and defensive end meant he could keep starters fresh at either place while providing decent run-stopping. That's valuable.

With more 3-4 and the addition of multiple defenders who ideally fit up front in those looks, Matthews' value has taken a hit, and it would not surprise me to see him go. Matthews isn't the biggest name on the list of veterans, but he exemplifies the way this offseason's changes might impact veterans who may find themselves looking for a new home this offseason.

Don't get too comfortable with some of your favorites, is what I'm saying. They could well be gone.

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