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The Falcons stay quiet and move under the radar on the first day of legal tampering

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As is their custom, the Falcons kept a lid on their moves.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We all know the Falcons aren’t going to make many (if any) splashes in free agency this year. They’re not loaded with cap space this year, and this is a team that likes to manage the money it’s throwing at the free agent market, regardless.

Still, the first day of legal tampering was notable for its silence. The Falcons were linked to just one free agent all day, recently released San Diego Chargers offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, and even that had a strong whiff of agent-driven interest to it. The end result is that it’s difficult to know who the Falcons are in on, if anyone.

That’s by design. The Falcons have gotten very good at masking their interest in their free agent targets, and while some news will inevitably leak out, I’m fine with not getting a ton of notice. If history holds, Atlanta will make their initial splash on the first day or two of free agency and then wait for the market to settle, with defensive tackle, guard, linebacker, and safety ranking as the most likely positions the team will pursue.

For the sake of this website’s traffic, though, I hope today brings something interesting.

Around the NFL

  • The Patriots and Buccaneers were both linked to DeSean Jackson, one of the NFL’s premier deep threats. Pairing Jackson with Mike Evans would give Tampa Bay a lethal duo even if Jameis Winston has his struggles connecting deep, so I certainly hope Jackson winds up elsewhere.
  • Jack Doyle would have been my preferred (perhaps only) free agent tight end target, but he wound up back with the Colts at something like $6.3 million per year. For that money, I’d pass.
  • The 49ers released Antoine Bethea, whose best days are behind him, and now have more cap space than God himself. The Falcons could sniff around Bethea if his market is slow to develop and he can’t land a starting gig elsewhere, but I wouldn’t do more than file his name away, given that some team is likely to give him that shot.
  • Kyle Shanahan’s got a six year deal in San Francisco, but he’s making somewhat of an odd move to land Kirk Cousins, per multiple reports. While Cousins is a good quarterback, he’ll be 29 years old at the start of this season, playing for a team that will be facing a multi-year rebuild, and the team is going to have to surrender assets to get him. Shanahan’s either in love with Cousins or not in love with this rookie quarterback class.