The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter reports that the bump puts the Falcons at $7.2 million for the moment. That seems like a nice little pocket of dough for heading into the 2018 season.
But, will Atlanta do anything with it?
Well, some of that money will go to first round pick Calvin Ridley, who’s yet to reach a deal with the organization. But, that’ll come at some point before training camp. First round picks tend to take longer to negotiate their first contracts.
If you want a reference point, consider Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell’s 2016 contract, which included $9.9 million over four years. That’s about $2.5 million a season. The two came in at around the same time in the draft, but Treadwell was a few picks higher. Expect Ridley to make around that, if not a hair more, as time adjusts itself for inflation.
So, if Ridley takes around $2.5 of that, it’d put the Falcons at just under $5 million to run on. That’s more than enough for Thomas Dimitroff’s “emergency fund,” and to sign an intruiging veteran that slips out of a team’s training camp or during late summer roster cuts.
After the team added DT Terrell McClain in May, and former Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks opted to go to Cleveland, there really aren’t many veterans that would make sense for Atlanta at the moment. The team has just about all of its starting pieces in place, with the last question mark, Duke Riley, firmly the frontrunner for that weakside spot now that Kendricks is off the table.
Defensive end is really the only place you *might* see the team wish to add some veteran competition, though with Vic Besley moving back to rusher full time, even that feels a little redundant, particularly with some intriguing young guys around to compete for a roster spot.
So, if you’re getting antsy about the team adding a veteran here soon with that cap bump, don’t get your hopes up. The roster looks as set as it’s going to be for the moment, and the team will have a comfortable amount of cash going into 2018 to get Ridley’s deal done, and to add an additional player later in the process if they so choose.