The interesting thing about the Falcons' free agent strategy thus far is that they grabbed both Derrick Shelby and Adrian Clayborn, who are not entirely simillar players, but are players who will have a similar role on this Falcons' defense. Both will play defensive end, mix in at defensive tackle on obvious passing downs, and potentially bookend one another at end when Dan Quinn wants more beef up front.
What is glaringly obvious is that someone is losing snaps on the line, because Clayborn was heavily used as a nickel defensive tackle, and Shelby is the kind of player Quinn will want to keep on the field as often as possible. Assuming Vic Beasley sticks at end, who figures to losing playing time? Here's four obvious candidates.
This is a crucial year for Big Shede. Grady Jarrett is the new regime's draft pick, played well in 2015, and figures to be in line for a big role, and
The saving grace for Hageman is that he's a big, powerful dude, and if he puts it together there's going to be no denying him playing time, particularly on early downs.
Still spry despite his age, Babs could be superseded by Shelby and/or Clayborn on some passing downs, and if Jarrett and Hageman do get a lot of run on early downs, he'll be a true reserve for the first time in his career in 2016. He still has something to offer this team, but it wouldn't be shocking to see his snaps drop fairly dramatically.
If he isn't cut between now and June, T-Jax likely plays defensive tackle on early downs and occasionally kicks out to end, serving as a run-stopper. His salary would make reduced snap counts tough to swallow, but you can make a fair argument that Hageman, Jarrett, Shelby, Clayborn, and even others all have more upside in Quinn's defense than he does.
I like Goodman, but it feels like he's going to get crowded out or dropped off the roster entirely. He's still not much of a pass rusher, he's not the best run stopper at end that the Falcons will be able to trot out, and Shelby and Clayborn are certainly ahead of him in the pecking order.
Ultimately, you could see all four of these players lose some time to Shelby and Clayborn, but I expect Hageman to be impacted less than the others. If Shelby and Clayborn are upgrades (and we kind of know what Clayborn can do already), you won't hear any complaints from me.