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Raheem Morris says Dante Fowler has been bad; Fowler says he has been injured

While Fowler is just another bad free agent signed by the Falcons, it is refreshing to see a coach speak honestly about a player’s performance.

Atlanta Falcons v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Falcons have been on the hunt for a pass rusher since foolishly cutting John Abraham way back after the 2012 season. They tried and failed with Osi Umenyiora, Ray Edwards, Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley, and now Dante Fowler. Thomas Dimitroff restructured some contracts, kicking the cap problems off for another year, and let Austin Hooper leave in free agency without so much as offering him a contract, in order to land Fowler on a three-year, $45 million deal.

It was a risky move for Fowler, who only had one good season when playing next to Aaron Donald. After 15 games, Fowler has done his best Vic Beasley impression, disappearing for long stretches entirely while tallying only 2.0 sacks. He has been easily outperformed by undrafted lineman Jacob Tuioti-Mariner. Fowler is likely a candidate to get cut in the offseason.

Fowler is a reminder that despite trying for well over a decade, Dimitroff was absolutely unable to bring in a single competent edge rusher. It has been bad. Dan Quinn would never say it, however, Morris was upfront with his criticism of Fowler on Wednesday. Asked about Fowler’s performance this season, Morris said, “It just wasn’t good enough.”

How refreshing! Between Mike Smith and Quinn, Falcons fans have not seen their head coach say much of anything negative about a player, even one painfully underperforming.

Fowler, apparently checking Twitter, posted the following since-deleted Tweet.

Fowler, apparently unaware that screenshotting exist, has only been briefly been on the injury report this season. He left the Dallas game with an injury, sent 11 days on the COVID list, and was dealing with a hamstring injury ahead of the Las Vegas game. We are not clear what his injury may be, but it has not been severe enough for him to miss time.

It is unclear if the Falcons will do anything about yet another underperforming defensive end taking his complaints to Twitter. McKinley complained about not being traded after the trade deadline, was fined, then cut, failed multiple physicals, then eventually ended up on injured reserve with thee Raiders having played exactly zero snaps.