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Which Buccaneers free agents should the Falcons consider signing in 2020?

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There are some capable defenders in the mix here.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

For those celebrating, I hope it was a great Christmas. Now it’s time to start thinking about shopping again, but this time less for things in boxes than players who might help the Falcons.

To be frank, some of the teams we’ve looked at in past weeks have been pretty barren of useful free agents, and certainly ones in Atlanta’s price range this upcoming offseason. Happily, that’s not the case with the Buccaneers, who have a huge list of impending free agents, many of them useful players.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most worthy names. Add your own in the comment if you don’t see your favorite and let us know which ones you’d sign, if the money works out.

WR Breshad Perriman

Perriman could be called a late bloomer, or just someone who finally got the opportunity. Either way, he’s putting together a great stretch run just before he hits free agency, one that ought to get him serious looks as a third option in many passing games.

Perriman’s speed is a problem. He’s averaging a healthy 15.9 yards per reception for his career and 16.5 this season, with 31 receptions, 511 yards and 5 touchdowns in 13 games. With injuries piling up at receiver for the league’s most prolific passing attack, Perriman has stepped up.

The Falcons aren’t going to be in a position to spend a ton of money at wide receiver, but if price point meets cap space, Perriman would be worth a look. The Falcons would be well-served by adding another useful deep threat to this offense, allowing Russell Gage plenty of work underneath as a reliable fourth option in the passing game, and helping to clear things out for Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones. That’ll be especially true if the offensive line is in better shape a year from now and Dirk Koetter is still here, since the Falcons would like to attack downfield more often.

OLB Shaquil Barrett

This is a massive pipe dream, but I couldn’t put this list together without including this year’s breakout pass rusher. Barrett’s always been good but is now looking great, with 16.5 sacks on the season. Chances are the Bucs franchise him or lock him up and he doesn’t sniff Atlanta, but if the Falcons somehow tripped over a pot of gold he’d be a strong signing.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul

The Falcons could set their sights a little lower and come away with a useful rotational pass rusher, something they’re going to badly need. JPP comes readily to mind.

Pierre-Paul won’t be cheap but also won’t be a bank-breaking signing, given that he’s sitting at 6.5 sacks and heading into his age 31 season with just 10 games under his belt in 2019 (assuming he plays Sunday). He has proven time and time again to be useful, putting up 12.5 sacks in 2018 and 8.5 in 2017 and playing solid run defense. JPP, Takk, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, potentially Adrian Clayborn and a draft pick would look pretty good for 2020.

DE/OLB Carl Nassib

If even JPP is too pricey, Nassib is the next man to consider. He’ll only be 27 years old in 2020 and has managed 6.5 and 6 sacks in the last two seasons, respectively, while serving as a solid all-around rotational player in each of those years for the Bucs. The Falcons are going to need players who can contribute a lot of productive snaps, and if Nassib winds up being the best affordable option they can get their hands on, I wouldn’t be mad.

OG Earl Watford

In the spirit of making solid, cost-effective signings next offseason, let’s talk about Watford. He’s a solid veteran with 25 career starts who has proven to be a capable fill-in multiple times in Tampa Bay and Arizona, and he’s in the midst of a good campaign where he’s started three games. With Wes Schweitzer hitting free agency and at least one of Jamon Brown and James Carpenter likely not returning, Watford could add stability and experience to the depth chart without coming close to breaking the bank.

S Andrew Adams

Adams is another depth signing to consider. He’s not a spectacular defender but he’s not been an active liability for the Buccaneers, either, and he’s a capable special teamer. The Falcons need some insurance at a position where Keanu Neal is once again recovering from a major injury, and Adams is a name to watch.