Dontari Poe wants to prove himself, and the Falcons want to see him prove himself. That led to a solid one year deal for Poe, where he’ll be making $8 million and could get that number to double digits if he hits incentives that aren’t available just yet.
Falcons gave former Chiefs' DT Dontari Poe a one-year, $8 million deal that could increase to $10M with incentives, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2017
This is a good play for both sides. Poe will make good money in an oddly quiet market for defensive tackles, and will get to be a key player on a rising defense that will hope to make a return to the Super Bowl. The Falcons get a good player at a position of need, albeit with some production and injury questions in recent years, without having to commit to him long-term.
For the Falcons, who are thin at defensive tackle, Poe should step right in to significant snaps. The Falcons aren’t done adding at DT, but they’re unlikely to pick up another starter-caliber player, which means a lot of looks for Grady Jarrett, Ra’Shede Hageman and Poe, with the team’s many versatile defensive end/defensive tackle types getting nickel work inside. This promises to be a pretty deep rotation, and one that should on paper be better than it was a year ago.
This does mean the Falcons are essentially done in free agency, as they shouldn’t have more than $5-$6 million available at the moment. A Matt Ryan extension might free up money that could go to a Desmond Trufant contract, and the team will sign a handful of guys (maybe even Dwight Freeney) post-June 1, but Poe is the splash.
I’m hopeful Poe will ball out for the Falcons and earn himself a long-term deal next year, and I’m hopeful those efforts will help key another deep Atlanta playoff run.