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Falcons free agency rumors: Don’t expect Ravens safety Matt Elam to land with Atlanta

The former first rounder has ties to Dan Quinn, but likely won’t be re-uniting with him.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Given Dan Quinn’s fondness for players and coaches he spent time around, it’s natural to link any free agents with ties to the Falcons’ head coach to this team. Natural, sure, but not always wise.

Such is the case with Matt Elam, who should be released shortly.

You can guess by the headline where I fall on this, but let’s break down why this might make sense, why it certainly doesn’t, and how likely I think the outcome is.

Why it makes sense

Let’s just do this via bulleted list.

  • Elam played at Florida when Dan Quinn was there;
  • Elam will only be 26 years old in 2017;
  • Elam has starting experience and physicality at safety, and the Falcons don’t have any proven options behind Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal, as Kemal Ishmael is a free agent.

That’s really about the list. Elam was solid his rookie season, okay his second season, and then spent 2015 on injured reserve before playing pretty sparingly in 2016.

Why it doesn’t make sense

Elam is not particularly quick or fluid in coverage, hasn’t produced much, and was just booked on multiple felony drug charges. The Ravens are sick of him, and while Dan Quinn might enjoy the chance to take Elam on as a reclamation project, he’s not even certain to play this season with a suspension likely coming down the pike. It’s not immediately obvious that Elam would be an upgrade over Kemal Ishmael, if he’s re-signed, or even promising second year safety Sharrod Neasman.

How likely it is

If Elam scoots away from these charges with no convictions and doesn’t get hit with a major suspension, I suppose there’s a small chance Dan Quinn will bring him aboard. I don’t see it, though.