Two quiet additions by Thomas Dimitroff have turned into two of Atlanta’s top free agents, restricted or otherwise. Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Taylor Gabriel was a huge surprise hit this season. Former Denver Broncos OL backed up Alex Mack but made quite an impact at defensive tackle down the stretch.
Luckily, both will be back, assuming the Falcons don’t match a competing offer.
Thomas Dimitroff said Taylor Gabriel and Ben Garland will be tendered as RFAs. Didn't say what level.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 1, 2017
This is great news for the team, but we did expect both players to return. The Falcons can give an original tender, which means they wouldn’t get anything if they don’t want to match another team’s offer sheet, as both are undrafted.
Garland may end up with an original tender, as he is already 28 and is not a starter. He should get a great chance to push for more snaps in 2017, but the versatile veteran helps by backing up the interior offensive line.
Gabriel should be hit with a second-round tender, if not first. He’s shown an elite athleticism and play-making ability that may remind you of Darren Sproles or DeSean Jackson. The Falcons may want to spend the extra money on a first-round tender with offensive boy genius/most hated man in Atlanta Kyle Shanahan loaded with cap space and draft picks in San Francisco.
Good move by the front office to hopefully keep two young playmakers for at least one more season.