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An examination of Falcons 2016 expiring contracts

Taking a look way ahead to see who will be free agents for the Falcons in 2016.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes in the doldrums of the offseason, looking ahead is your best bet for remaining invested in what the Falcons are up to.

I expect a Julio deal to get done, and he's obviously the headliner here, but there are several players here who will be worth monitoring throughout the year, given their free agent status. We'll take a look at those players below.

The following chart comes to us from Spotrac, which you should really have bookmarked for all contract discussions and questions.

2016 expiring Falcons contracts

When I look at that list, there are at least five players who stand out besides Julio.

Joe Hawley: Unless the Falcons grow to love James Stone, Mike Person or Jared Smith at center, they're going to either need to re-sign Hawley or acquire his replacement in 2016.

Paul Worrilow: This is entirely dependent on how Worrilow fares in a new-look defense that should play better to his strengths. If he starts and plays well, I fully expect him to be back on a new, multi-year deal.

Adrian Clayborn: He's essentially on a prove-it deal at the moment, but a successful year for Clayborn would lead to an interesting situation for the Falcons, especially because he's a semi-proven pass rusher on a team that needs to have options.

Kroy Biermann: On an affordable one-year deal at the moment, but it's certainly possible Quinn likes what he brings to the table as a part-time player and elects to bring him back. Like Clayborn, he's going to have to prove his worth in 2015.

Charles Godfrey: Ideally, the Falcons would groom a Kemal Ishmael, a Ricardo Allen or even a Robert Alford for the starting free safety gig a year from now. If Godfrey acquits himself well as the starting free safety, though, he could certainly return to buy the team more time to develop their next quality young FS.

Honorable mentions would go to Antone Smith, Nate Stupar, Tony Moeaki and Leonard Hankerson. As you can see, there's a handful of key players who will be up for free agency and plenty of useful role players, so it'll be interesting to see how the teams handles these guys. We're a long ways away, but food for thought.

Your thoughts on this impending free agent class?