The third day of free agency was not any more eventful for the Atlanta Falcons than the first two had been, to put it mildly. Atlanta signed no one and were not involved in any blockbuster-style rumors, but at this point, you shouldn’t expect those.
What the Falcons did do was make a couple of quiet moves that might indicate signings are coming. They were, in case you missed them:
- Hosted running back Rex Burkhead;
- Re-jiggered Ryan Schraeder’s roster bonus, saving them about $4.8 million in cap space this year
Burkhead left without a contract, as far as we’re aware, but he’s the kind of versatile back the Falcons could consider adding to their offense. It’d be a low-impact, low-cost signing that could nonetheless prove to be beneficial to the offense. The bigger deal is the money, of course.
With $4.8 million freed up, plus the cost savings for cutting Tyson Jackson, the Falcons can make a run at one of the better free agents remaining. They’ve been linked to Dontari Poe and clearly need help at defensive tackle, and they could also use help at guard and getting pressure off the edge. There aren’t any elite options left for any of those needs, but there are good ones, and Atlanta’s got a strong enough roster (and a no-splash free agent philosophy this year) that a good player is probably precisely what they’re hoping for.
Action’s coming, in other words. We’ll just have to see what it is.
Around the NFL
- The Packers got more dangerous, with Ted Thompson opening the purse strings to an outside free agent for the first time since 2012 (no, really). The team signed both Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks at tight end, giving Aaron Rodgers a pair of useful receiving options. That may become relevant in the NFC playoff picture this year.
- The Buccaneers signed safety J.J. Wilcox and re-signed a couple of core backups and special teamers, and they’re looking into Nick Foles as their backup quarterback. They were the second best team in the NFC South a year ago, and nothing they’ve done suggests they’re going to fade away in 2017. While I get as tired of the Bucs being hyped as anybody, this time it looks like they’ll actually stay a contender, especially with New Orleans and Carolina having more work to do to get back to relevance.
- There are a couple of key dominoes that still need to fall. Will the Patriots trade Jimmy Garoppolo, ensuring they won’t be without a pick until the third round? Will the Browns trade Brock Osweiler, and will he get a starting shot somewhere? These keep me up at night.