Weird, right? There are a number of quality players who would like to exchange their future services for money, and the Falcons are still sitting on a Levine Toilolo-sized stacked of cash.
Here are the top players available that would fit a bit need for the Falcons.
RB Stevan Ridley
Ridley had a pretty poor 2014, Steven Jacksoning his way to only about 3.6 YPC before tearing his ACL and MCL in October. A bruising back that is only 26, Ridley could likely be had for a cheap, one-year deal that would allow the team to save a late round pick for another position of need.
RB Knowshon Moreno
Moreno was having perhaps the best start of his career, putting up some surprising numbers before tearing his ACL, also in October. Free agency is filled with old and injury-plagued running backs. Pierre Thomas, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ben Tate, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Chris Johnson round out the rest of the uninspiring options. With only Antone Smith and Devonta Freeman on the roster, the Falcons will need to add two more backs just to get through camp.
TE Rob Housler
The Falcons spent this last week adding Jacob Tamme,
Kroy Biermann and Tony Moeaki, but could look to add another cheap tight end with a bit more potential, like Housler. The athletic but underachieving pass catcher left Atlanta last week without a contract and is probably regretting that decision. Likely, if his price drops, the Falcons could look to add the young tight end and have a true competition for snaps in 2015.
RT Joe Barksdale
This lineman was considered one of the top tackles coming into free agency, but he has met a pretty soft market. A competent run blocker, but struggling pass blocker, Barksdale could shore up the tackle spot across from Jake Matthews.
DE Sam Acho
Acho, owner of one of the best three-cone drill times by a defensive lineman, started out in Arizona strong. He notched seven sacks as a rookie, but his effectiveness fell, along with injuries, before eventually losing his starting spot. Acho would be an interesting signing as having some potential, along with the likes of Corey Wootton.
Veterans like Dwight Freeney, John Abraham, and Anthony Spencer would be quality additions if healthy, and help take the heat off the pass rushing rookie/rookies drafted this year.
LB Brandon Spikes
The menacing inside linebacker Spikes was graded as the 9th best inside linebacker against the run, and has improved his pass coverage skills in recent years, but remains a slooooow player. The Falcons still have a big hole at the middle linebacker position that Spikes would fit perfectly as a two-down thumper. Spikes would be a quick, cheap, and easy way to turn around a run defense that has
sucked struggled since the departure of Curtis Lofton.
LB Mason Foster
Foster was linked to Atlanta prior to free agency, then was reportedly close to signing with the Chicago Bears... nearly two weeks ago. Foster has been discussed here multiple times this March, and if healthy, would be a player likely to make a big impact in Atlanta's rejuvenated linebacker group.
There are a few available safeties, Dwight Lowery the most notable, a few big name wide receivers, then perhaps a guard or two who could provide some competition. Who do you like as a cheap addition to the Falcons' roster?