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Falcons spending far more on offense than defense heading into 2016

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That will likely change in the years to come, but the disparity is striking.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons under Mike Smith were a team built around a stacked offense, with a defense that was good enough to get by. Dan Quinn and company have shown more of a focus on the defensive side of the ball, but Atlanta is still spending far, far more on offense.

Per Over the Cap, the Falcons will spend about $87.6 million of their cap on offense this year, which is the fourth-highest total in the NFL. They're just behind the Steelers, Redskins, and Cardinals in spending there, and just ahead of the Eagles and Patriots, which isn't completely terrible company to be in. Defensively, they're spending $54.3 million of their cap space, which is the second-lowest total in the NFL, just ahead of (weirdly) the Panthers and just behind the Bears and Saints.

This spending reflects the fact that offense has long been a priority for Atlanta, with Matt Ryan earning his huge deal before Quinn and company arrived, and Julio Jones and Alex Mack signing big contracts since last year. But while the team is going to spend more on offense for the foreseeable future, you should start to see a shift in these numbers as time goes on, with Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford due for big deals and the team pouring draft picks into defense, as was the case with Vic Beasley, Jalen Collins,  Keanu Neal, and Deion Jones over the last two seasons.

You can win with an unbalanced spending pattern--the Patriots are proof enough of that--but Atlanta needs to improve its defense either with dollars or savvy drafting to be a serious contender in the future. Let's hope they can do it.