The Atlanta Falcons had certain priorities after their playoff loss in January. We knew they’d have to do something to address the lackluster guard play that sometimes plagued them in 2017. For whatever reason, there wasn’t a palpable sense of urgency when the front office addressed the guard play publicly. Then they went out and signed Brandon Fusco; a solid signing, but not earth-shattering by any stretch of the imagination.
At this point the situation at right and left guard is imperfect but solid. If Andy Levitre stays healthy and Fusco maintains his pass blocking prowess, all should be right in the world. There are worse backups than Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland. I’m not too worried, to be frank. It’s a situation the Falcons have to address long-term, but there’s absolutely no need to hit the panic button.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Vaughn McClure was featured in an article about NFL roster bubbles yesterday. The article highlights each NFL team’s roster bubble heading into training camp. McClure (and others) were tasked with naming one veteran “who might not make opening-day rosters in 2018.” McClure picked Levitre.
Levitre, who already took a pay cut, wasn’t on the field much this offseason while recovering from triceps and knee injuries. He has been the starter at left guard the past two seasons, but the Falcons have to prepare both Ben Garland and Wes Schweitzer in case Levitre’s body can’t keep going at age 32. The Falcons signed veteran Brandon Fusco to step in at right guard.
So is Levitre really on the roster bubble? If the team were to let him go, Garland and/or Schweitzer would have to take substantial steps forward. That’s not impossible, but it seems like a real long shot at this point. Cutting Levitre doesn’t do much for the team financially. (His cap hit is $5.69 million. He’d represent $4.86 in dead money if he’s cut.) Put simply, I can’t really wrap my mind around McClure’s suggestion, but heck, I’ve been wrong before.