As we march towards the beginning of free agency on March 9th, many Falcons fans are wondering what moves the team will make in an effort to improve the team. While the team has already moved on from William Moore and Justin Durant, there's little reason to believe the cuts will stop there. According to Vaughn McClure at ESPN, the Falcons should look to add Andy Levitre to this list.
McClure lays out the case pretty convincingly, though the stats in this quote really hammer it home
There is no doubt the Falcons need to upgrade the interior of the offensive line with bigger bodies capable of keeping Matt Ryan upright. As the tape showed, Levitre struggled in that category. Not to mention he led the team with 11 penalties for 95 yards, with another 37 yards nullified as a result of those infractions.
Ouch. Anyone who watched the games probably remembered hearing 67 get called for penalties almost every single game. For what it's worth, PFF graded Levitre positively on the season (+6.6) but negatively for pass blocking (-4.7).
If the Falcons did cut Levitre, they'd save about 1.25 Million against the 2016 cap, but would absorb a painful 4.1M in dead money to do it. There's also the question of what the Falcons would do to replace Levitre, as it looks like they're going to let veteran RG Chris Chester walk as well. With Center also being a position in need of an upgrade, the Falcons could be looking at starting three different players in the interior of the OL yet again.
In this writer's opinion, I think the Falcons will roll with Levitre for one more year before looking for a replacement. While there are some good looking free agents that might hit the market, replacing all three guys on the interior seems too risky, even if it's exactly what the Falcons did in 2015. That's not to say that Levitre played well enough to be kept around - I agree with McClure in that he became a liability - it's just the reality that there are only so many moves the team can make in one off-season.
What are your thoughts on the prospect of moving on from Levitre after just one year?