With the 2019 season coming in hot, the Atlanta Falcons are tweaking and configuring the roster for the upcoming year.
In the past, we’ve seen “Trader” Thomas Dimitroff make moves to make his team a better version of itself (in theory) with last-minute season trades.
The team acquired guard Andy Levitre at the last minute in 2015, who became a sound multi-year starter. Reserve tackle Ty Sambrailo came in before the start of the 2017 season and has had a handful of starts. Just recently, the team flipped TE Eric Saubert for a conditional seventh-round pick.
With NFL trades becoming a bit more popular as of late, it wouldn’t be out of this world to think Atlanta could go back to the table and wheel and deal once more. Who could be next out the door?
First, we have to consider areas of surplus and areas of need. Right now, the team has a lot of talent and/or is seeing its roster get a little tight at running back, wide receiver, tight end, on the offensive line and defensive lines (go figure), in the secondary and at linebacker.
The only spot on the roster that feels pretty set is the quarterback group. Both lines could also always use new, better names, and there’s that bugaboo at the kicker spot to consider.
How might this go? We’ve got some ideas.
The Falcons trade DT Deadrin Senat to Arizona Cardinals for a 2020 sixth-round pick
As my colleague Kevin Knight has noted, the Falcons’ unwillingness to make a firm commitment to Senat as a key part of its defensive line continues to confuse. He’s a good, young defensive tackle with room to grow, only entering his second year. The Falcons have a four-deep group there (Grady Jarrett, Jack Crawford, Tyeler Davison, Allen Bailey), not leaving a ton of room for Senat to contribute.
The Arizona Cardinals don’t have much talent at all on their defensive line, with former Falcon Corey Peters their best bet inside. Senat could probably get a bigger role immediately in Arizona, and Atlanta could recoup a pick for the future. It’d admit another whiff by the front office with a third-rounder, but Senat holds too much value to either keep on the inactives list all year or just cut outright.
The Falcons trade WR Mohamed Sanu Sr. to the New York Giants for a 2020 fifth rounder and sixth rounder
I’ll clarify that I don’t want this to happen, at least not this year. It’s far too fun to imagine Julio Jones, Sanu and a second-year Calvin Ridley giving opposing defenses fits, but the ball can only go in so many directions, and the Falcons have promising young guys like Russell Gage and Christian Blake to perhaps factor into the game plan, as well as potentially vet Justin Hardy. Sanu’s trade value is at an all-time high. The Giants are depleted at receiver right now, and might be willing to pay a decent price for some stability there.
The Falcons trade a 2020 seventh rounder to the Cleveland Browns for K Greg Joseph
Joseph is the Florida Atlantic alum who kicked for 85% of his field goals in stead of Zane Gonzalez for Cleveland last season, and for some reason finds himself on the outside looking in this year. The Browns drafted Austin Siebert with a fifth-round pick, an obvious hint that he’s their kicker for the future. As for Joseph, it feels like he could be an upgrade right now over the struggling Giorgio Tavecchio and the veteran Blair Walsh. Atlanta might could get him on the waiver wire, which would be a better outcome for the Falcons than giving up collateral for someone who could just be cut.
Those are just a few ideas of how the preseason might go from the front office’s perspective. You never know how these things are going to go, though. So keep your eyes peeled to see if the Falcons make a move.