The Atlanta Falcons have been a bit busier than anyone expected them to be this free agency, adding four pieces to its offense and re-signing tight end Logan Paulsen.
Though, the money’s just about all dried up, per The MMQB’s Albert Breer.
And the teams with the least cap space, as of this AM's internal report ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 17, 2019
1) Falcons $4.88M
2) Patriots $5.55M
3) Vikings $5.91M
4) Steelers $6.60M
5) Panthers $6.73M
6) Bucs $6.87M
7) Rams $8.04M
8) Giants $12.26M
9) Chargers $13.89M
10) Seahawks $15.00M
11) Broncos $15.10M
Having the least amount of cap room in the NFL isn’t particularly ideal, though Atlanta has effectively patched up most of what it probably wanted to do on offense this offseason within the last week. That side of the ball really only needs, perhaps, more tackle and center depth and receiver help to get to where it needs to go.
Defense is the place we all expected a bit more movement, though the team hasn’t added a single new player. The roster is just the same as it was going into 2019, which admittedly is a bit of a surprise. They could still add someone on the cheap or on a reduced 2019 cap hit that could impact next fall.
Don’t expect a Justin Houston or an Eric Berry, though. There’s just no money for anyone you’ve probably still got on your free agency wish list. Re-signing Bruce Irvin or bringing back Adrian Clayborn could very well still be in the plans, though, if those guys are willing to take a bit of a hometown discount or take backloaded deals.
The Falcons could free up some space if they so desired to do some more business, and the now-released Ryan Schraeder’s cap hit will disappear for the most part in June. The cap’s not necessarily in a horrible spot since a lot of the money is going to good use; it’s just not in a place throw around any deals of note.
The eventual Grady Jarrett deal and Julio Jones contract reworking will free up space, too, once that all gets settled.
Look for a few fill-out-the-90 roster moves in the weeks to come, and most of the big fish to fry in terms of roster holes to get specific attention in the draft. It wouldn’t surprise us for the team to go defense with its first three or four picks.
We’ll see what the team has in mind as we get into free agency’s second week.