You have to hand it to Wes Schweitzer: every time the Falcons have seemingly moved on from him, he finds his way back onto the field. The team clearly didn’t intend for him to start again in 2019. They drafted Chris Lindstrom in the first round to cement one of the two guard spots and free agents James Carpenter and Jamon Brown were supposed to fight it out for the other.
Yet, Wes found himself starting 7 games this year due to a combination of injuries and sub-par play from the guys brought in to replace him. In fact, since 2017 Wes has started 36 games (16 in 2017, 13 in 2018) and has played in 46. For a former 6th round pick, that’s impressive. So now that he’s a free agent, what should Atlanta do? Should they keep him and run the risk that he’ll continue to be a starter (the curse of Wes) or is it time to move on?
At this point, we pretty much know who Wes is. He’s a good backup that can start in a pinch. As a starter, he’s average on his best days and dreadful on his worst. A quick look at his PFF scores shows that he’s a player who is kind of “meh” across the board. Yet, he has often stepped in and played well in spots, making him the kind of backup you want. He’s got plenty of starting experience and has played on both sides of the line. In fact, he was even getting snaps at center before the whole season went sideways after the Chris Lindstrom injury in game 1 of the year.
The problem the Falcons have is that they just signed two free agents who will be difficult to cut in 2020. James Carpenter and Jamon Brown have certainly not lived up to the money given to them, yet the team is basically attached to both for at least one more season. There’s some hope that a full-season under their belts will make one of these guys serviceable, but 2019 was certainly not a good one for either guy.
Likewise, the team could end up drafting another offensive lineman in 2020 that they hope will be the long-term guy at left guard. Doing so would put 4 offensive guards on the roster already, with Matt Gono serving as a potential 5th guard in a pinch. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for Wes.
Realistically, if Schweitzer is going to come back, it will probably have to be on a cheap one year deal where he’ll be given a chance to compete for a roster spot. At this point, though, the Carpenter and Brown contracts make him an odd-man out whether he deserves it or not.
The only other option is whether the team thinks he could be the long-term replacement at center. That seems highly unlikely at this point and it would be a huge risk to take, especially since we haven’t seen him in that spot in the regular season.
What do you think the Falcons should do with Wes? Is it time to move on or should Atlanta squeeze him in for another year?