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Three Falcons offseason tropes we’re already sick of

The Falcons probably aren’t looking to replace these guys.

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The offseason is long, and if you write about the NFL or this specific football team during the doldrums, you’re bound to annoy people eventually. There’s a difference between indulging in some offseason fantasies and/or exploring unlikely possibilities and continuing to hammer a point that has no chance of becoming reality, though, and that’s what we’ll talk about today.

Here’s three tropes we’ve seen from fans, draft analysts, and perhaps even here at The Falcoholic that we must destroy at all costs.

#1: Ricardo Allen needs to be replaced

In years past, we’ve indulged this one. We simply didn’t feel like we knew if the team was keeping Ricardo Allen as a stopgap while he was young and cheap or if they were going to commit to him over the long haul. While we still don’t know if they’ll do the latter, we do know where he stands with this coaching staff.

Marquand Manuel repeatedly talked about how important and good Allen is in 2017, comparing him favorably to Earl Thomas and calling him a critical safety net for this Falcons defense. He’s not putting up flashy stats in that role, but Allen is the last line of defense in coverage and has mostly excelled there, and he’ll remain dirt cheap for one more season as a restricted free agent. You can wonder aloud if the Falcons are going to commit a sizeable long-term contract to Allen in 2019, but there’s no evidence they consider him a player that needs to be replaced this year, and we should nip that one in the bud this year.

#2: The Falcons should draft a tackle

I truly do not understand this one.

The Falcons have Ryan Schraeder under contract on a very reasonable deal, given how good he is. You won’t need to replace him for a couple of years, if not longer. Jake Matthews continues to be average-to-above average at left tackle, and while ideally the Falcons would have a truly elite player there, those are extremely difficult to come by. Matthews is going to get his money from the Falcons, and that means no short-term replacement is needed. You can make a case for a young swing tackle to groom, sure, but Ty Sambrailo is locked into that role for 2018.

Drafting a tackle at #26, as an intrepid few have suggested, feels like a genuine waste of resources unless you’re replacing Matthews (which isn’t going to happen), expecting to replace Schraeder in the next year or two (which probably isn’t going to happen), or you’re going to kick that player inside to guard. While the last one is a possibility, it has nothing to do with addressing the tackle position, and the Falcons won’t address the tackle position in the first round. Let’s stop talking about it.

#3: Austin Hooper needs to be replaced

Here are a few things that are simultaneously true:

  • Austin Hooper had some ugly, frustrating drops in 2017
  • Jimmy Graham is a free agent
  • The Falcons appear to be looking at this draft tight end class
  • Austin Hooper will likely start in 2018

We’ve discussed Jimmy Graham more than once, as our own Adnan Ikic noted that Graham is neither a massive upgrade over Hooper nor cost-effective enough to warrant serious consideration. We’ve talked about the team potentially looking at a tight end in this draft class in the third round or later, likely as a long-term complement to Hooper and/or replacement for Levine Toilolo. But will they actually replace Hooper? I’ve given that thought its five minutes of due consideration, but no, I don’t think so.

There’s simply not a lot of evidence for that. Hooper didn’t do a lot in the red zone, but that was true of this passing attack as a whole. He’s just 23 years old, blocks well, and has enough quality games as a receiver under his belt that a third year breakout still feels like it’s right around the corner. I don’t necessarily think Hooper’s going to become an elite option at the position, but I do think he’s got the speed, hands, and all-around skill set to be an above average starter, and I think he’s barely worse than Jimmy Graham, if at all.

Which offseason tropes are you hoping to retire?