Atlanta’s got one of the NFL’s most expensive quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, cornerbacks, and so on, but did you know they also have one of the league’s most expensive offensive lines? A plethora of riches!
As we covered earlier this offseason, the Falcons were PFF’s pick for the second-best line in the NFL a year ago, which means this cost isn’t exactly going to a bunch of nobodies.
Based on percentage of cap space, Browns currently have the 4th most expensive offensive line in the NFL this year. pic.twitter.com/xeV9rCymfv— Ryan McCrystal (@Ryan_McCrystal) July 22, 2018
The team’s decision to keep the line together, despite the huge chunk of cap space it will take up, is another reason to believe the offense will be successful in 2018. The Falcons (hopefully) upgraded on Wes Schweitzer by adding Brandon Fusco, and a healthy Andy Levitre puts them in a good position at left guard. The rest of their starters are between good and elite, and given the real firepower elsewhere, this team can really only be slowed by injury of an advanced case of Sarkisian.
If you suspected that the Falcons won’t be repeating this a year from now, well, you’re probably right. Sort of.
The Falcons should have Alex Mack under contract, they’ll be handing Jake Matthews an extension, and Ryan Schraeder is a well-paid right tackle. They got a pretty good bargain on Brandon Fusco, who should be the starter at right guard for at least another year, but chances are good that Andy Levitre won’t be back unless he’s willing to take a much cheaper deal with the Falcons. That means the Falcons should drop back further in the top ten, cost-wise, but it also means a hole at left guard the Falcons will need to plug with a draft pick, Sean Harlow, Wes Schweitzer, or another, less expensive veteran.
While the team can surely line up a solid option at left guard, this might be the best line they’re going to have for a while. Just another reason to ensure that 2018 is that year for Atlanta.