It’s nearly roster cuts time, and that means it’s time to speculate about the veteran the Falcons might add.
Some notable names that appear to be on the bubble as we near roster cut-downs:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 29, 2018
* Ameer Abdullah
* Paxton Lynch
* Mike Gillislee
* Rico Gathers
* Hau'oli Kikaha
* Cardale Jones or Geno Smith
* Stephone Anthony
* Breshad Perriman
There are a handful of names already being floated by NFL insider Field Yates, however, and I would urge you to keep an eye on them in case they wind up in Atlanta. You’ll see that most of the ones above won’t be of much interest to the Falcons, but here are three who could be.
DE Hau’oli Kikaha
Health has been a major struggle for Kikaha, with the 26-year-old only having appeared in 27 games over the last three seasons. In 2017, he made it on the field for 12 games and picked up four sacks, making him no more than a situationally useful pass rusher.
The Falcons still need that, however. If Kikaha is healthy, he’s a solid fit as a part-time pass rusher, likely serving as the team’s de facto fifth defensive end. He could provide a pass rushing complement when the team wants to get Takkarist McKinley or Vic Beasley out of the game for a little bit, and he’d be a significant upgrade in that regard over Derrick Shelby. There won’t be a ton of snaps for him, but if he comes at an affordable price and doesn’t mind a part-time role for a championship contender, I’d welcome him in Atlanta.
LB Stephone Anthony
Anthony has flamed out pretty spectacularly. He was a first round pick for the Saints back in 2015, believe it or not, but the Saints dumped him on the Dolphins who now appear ready to dump him again.
The chief attraction with Anthony is as a fixer upper. He looked like a legitimate talent coming out of college and enjoyed a solid rookie season before the Saints moved him to the strong side and apparently soured on him, and it’s possible the Falcons could coax that talent out of him if they brought him aboard as Deion Jones’ backup at linebacker. I’d be fine if the team moved ahead with Duke Riley, Foye Oluokun, and either Kemal Ishmael or Jonathan Celestin, but the team may not be.
TE Rico Gathers
A potential practice squad addition, Gathers has terrific size and athleticism and has shown brief but tantalizing flashes of being a weapon at the tight end position. He has also been maddeningly inconsistent and has shown little aptitude for blocking, which is probably why the Cowboys seem ready to cut ties. As a developmental guy, he’s worth a flier.