The Falcons got a jump start on the offseason by getting to business only a few days after the world’s most boring Super Bowl. The cuts were all big names: Matt Bryant, Robert Alford, and Brooks Reed. That’s a total of 20 seasons from all three players, with the bulk coming from the ageless “Money.”
Dan Quinn made bold moves to the coaching staff at the end of the season and suggested changes to the roster were coming as well. That has proven true with some other big names likely cut in the near future. The Falcons are going for a full makeover and that requires some money.
Cutting Bryant suggests they are going younger, cheaper, and less proven with Giorgio Tavecchio. Alford, always a precarious fit for Quinn’s defensive scheme, followed up a stunning 2017 season with his worst season in Atlanta. The Falcons are believed to have Isaiah Oliver penciled into his starting spot. Reed has totaled only 7 sacks in four full seasons with the Falcons and was bumped to backup in 2018. There are no replacements for Reed but he was clearly not worth the $4.5 million base salary.
With three cuts the Falcons created $15.23 million in additional cap space for 2019. Over The Cap had the team projected at $14.45 million in cap space before the cuts. By my math, that puts the Falcons at $29.98 in available spending money.
While the Falcons have more cuts coming, they will also be working on new deals for Grady Jarrett and Julio Jones. Vic Beasley is scheduled for a $12.8 million salary but rumors are the team plans to work out a different deal.
The team will need to add two defensive ends and likely two starters along the offensive line. They may look to bring back Bruce Irvin, Steven Means, and even Zane Beadles. After all the signings, extensions, and signing the draft class, that $30 million in space will drop drastically.