Here's one of the facts of the offseason: Veterans are going to get the axe to make way for shiny new acquisitions and touted rookies, and those players will be looking for new homes when they're cut. Some of them could even wind up with the Atlanta Falcons!
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is worth looking at players considered to be on the bubble to see who the Falcons may someday be linked to. Let's jump in.
Dee Milliner, CB, Jets
Milliner has been a mega bustsince the Jets snagged him with the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, with just 21 games, three interceptions, and some lousy coverage along the way. The Jets could simply decide to cut ties with him if they don't see genuine improvement in training camp, though I'm sure they'd like to get something out of their investment in the final year of his rookie deal.
If Milliner did hit the open market, the Falcons might take a look. He's got respectable size (6'0", 198") and physicality, and the Falcons have been open to experimenting at cornerback this offseason, adding speedster Demarcus Van Dyke and moving former receiver C.J. Goodwin to corner. He's only 24 years old, so Milliner would be worth at least a brief look.
Barkevious Mingo, LB, Browns
Like Milliner, Mingo has been a disappointment thus far in his NFL career, following up a promising rookie season where he got five sacks with a pair of lackluster campaigns. He's reunited with Ray Horton, the defensive coordinator who coaxed that quality first year out of him, but there's no guarantee Mingo survives his fourth year in Cleveland.
Again, the Falcons are still keen on adding athleticism to their linebackers corps and special teams unit, and Mingo at least has that. If he gets cut, he could land a reserve role with Atlanta, though he may find a better offer elsewhere.
Andre Williams, RB, Giants
Okay, this one might be a stretch. The Falcons appear to like Terron Ward, Williams has been a subpar runner his entire (short) career, and the Giants might hold on to him despite having something like six options at running back. Even so, Williams punched in eight touchdowns in his rookie season, is just 23 years old, and could offer a short yardage power complement to the Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman duo. Keep an eye on his status, is all I'm saying.
Kyle Love, DT, Panthers
The 29-year-old journeyman is a solid reserve defensive tackle, and the Falcons could steal Love away after the Panthers cut him in much the same way the Panthers signed Paul Soliai when he hit the market. The Falcons could still use a little additional depth at the position, even if Love isn't a spectacular player.
Ahmad Brooks, LB, 49ers
It's crazy to think of Brooks, a terrific player, being on the chopping block, but here we are. Brooks hasn't played 16 games since 2013, but he has 21 sacks over the last three seasons and remains a solid player, at worst. Given that the Falcons haven't exactly set the world on fire with their linebacker upgrades--even if I liked all of their moves--Brooks would be intriguing.
Who do you have your eyes on?