The Falcons will be looking elsewhere for receiving help in 2018 now that Taylor Gabriel is for-sure gone.
The wide receiver validated Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff’s claims yesterday that he’s going to hit free agency with a farewell message to the organization and its fans.
As thankful as Gabriel is in the message, it does sound like he’s ready to move on to an offense that can better utilize his skills.
Look no further than San Francisco as a likely destination, where former Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan is now the head coach, and has unlocked Gabriel’s potential in both stops where he’s coached him (the two were together in Cleveland in 2014). Gabriel could join Shanny and 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, and give Falcons fans broken hearts to see Turbo going long for Jimmy G for touchdowns next season.
Gabriel’s an electric player when used correctly, but OC Steve Sarkisian never got him in enough space for him to do his patented damage. He also relied too much on Gabriel having to beat corners taller than him, whereas Shanny would scheme him to get open. The sweeps that Shanny thrived on with Gabriel in 2016 also went dry in 2017.
A quick search on Gabriel’s Twitter favorites will show that he had a little frustration with his use in Sark’s offense, and it’s hard to blame him for wanting to move on.
He’s from the Dallas area, so if the Cowboys are interested, that could also be a potential match (he’s Twitter-favorited mentions of playing for the team). That’d mean the Falcons would see him in 2018, as the team is set to face off against the NFC East next season. Seeing Gabriel burn us for a touchdown next season would not be fun, to say the least.
But, wherever he ends up, we wish him all the best, and hope his rockets blast him to better days ahead.
As for Atlanta, they can either focus on grooming guys like Justin Hardy and Marvin Hall for larger roles in the offense, or replace Gabriel’s contributions via free agency or the draft.