The Atlanta Falcons had a tough decision to make at the end of last season. Adrian Clayborn was set to hit the open market, and they didn’t have much cap space to make a reasonable, team-friendly offer for his services. So they let him go. Now he’s a member of the New England Patriots. And now the Falcons have a hole to fill at defensive end.
But Clayborn’s story isn’t particularly unique, is it? Football teams and the talented football players that once played for them part ways all the time. Such was also the case for former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Robert Ayers. Ayers was cut before the final year of a three year, $21 million contract he signed in 2016. Now the Falcons are reportedly one of several teams interested in Ayers’ services.
Ayers will turn 33 shortly after the 2018 season begins. He’s also got a checkered history when it comes to his durability. But setting that low-lying fruit aside, the man can still ball. Pro Football Focus gave him an 89.3 rating in 2017, 10th among edge players. (That makes him “high quality” according to their metrics; one step above “above average.”)
So what say you, Falcoholics? Should the Falcons bring Ayers aboard?