The Dan Quinn era in Atlanta has so far gone better than expected. At 5-1, the Atlanta Falcons have shocked the naysayers. And yet, there's still room for improvement. We shall see if the Falcons can make a successful playoff run this year. But if they don't, the team will again look to bolster the roster in what projects as a less active offseason for the franchise.
Only 6 games in, it's hard to assess players. Bad games happen, and bad play, just like good play, can be streaky. That said, let's take a far too early look ahead to the offseason. Knowing what we know now, who are the likely cap casualties?
Two names come to mind for me. The first is Tyson Jackson, who is under contract through 2018. With Ra'Shede Hageman's emergence and Grady Jarrett making the most of his opportunities, Jackson may be unable to justify his contract. If the Falcons cut him before June 1, 2016, Jackson represents $4.8 million in dead money.
The second name that comes to mind is Paul Soliai. While I love Soliai and his enormous frame, he and Jackson are similarly situated. If the Falcons cut him before June 1, 2016, Jackson represents $4.2 million in dead money.
To be frank, Jackson and Soliai may have nothing to worry about. But knowing what we know now, they are the two players the Falcons are most likely to cut for cap-related reasons. The fact that other names don't immediately come to mind speaks volumes. That, more than scouting, drafting, and roster management, distinguishes Thomas Dimitroff. Say what you want about his irresponsible hair style, the man can reliably navigate a salary cap.