When the Falcons picked up Vic Beasley’s fifth-year option last offseason it was definitely the right move despite the pass rusher’s down year. Beasley is the only player you could mention along with John Abraham, the team’s last truly dominant pass rusher that was cut loose a few seasons too soon.
After an uninspiring 2018 it felt unlikely that the Falcons would keep Beasley. His option will cost the team $12.8 million, a surprising number considering he has had only 5 sacks in each of the last two seasons. Dan Quinn has since said the Falcons will keep Beasley, and he will be the focus of a more hands on approach. It still feels like far too much money.
At least it felt like too much money before Dante Fowler’s one-year deal.
Last night, the #Rams agreed to terms with pass-rusher Dante Fowler Jr. on a 1-year deal worth $14M, source said. The former 1st rounder gets another year with the team that traded for him at roughly the amount that the fifth-year option would’ve been, then can hit the market.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2019
Fowler will always be linked to Beasley as the two were the top pass rushers in the 2015 draft. Neither have played up to their potential so far in their career, except for Beasley’s 2016 season. Fowler has only 16 career sacks thanks in part to to a torn ACL ending his rookie season. However, he had fewer sacks than Beasley in 2018, with a career high of only 8.0 sacks in 2017.
As it turns out, the going rate for a one-year rental on a young, incomplete pass rusher is right around $13 to $14 million per season. It felt like the Falcons were overpaying but good teams are paying up for the chance to develop a future Pro Bowl player. Whether that is money well spent or not depends on if the players take a step forward.