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Falcons GM suggests James Carpenter, Jamon Brown, and Matt Gono will be involved in LG competition

This doesn’t mean the Falcons will stand pat, but it does mean we shouldn’t expect Brown or Carpenter to be cut.

Atlanta Falcons v Houston Texans Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The left guard spot is the sole source of real intrigue along the offensive line, as the team’s other four starters are set barring a surprise Alex Mack cut in the name of cap space. That ensures we’ll be eating up any and all indications of who might be competing for the left guard job in training camp, and we just got an indication earlier than anticipated.

In an interview with writer Will McFadden, Thomas Dimtiroff suggested that as of the moment, James Carpenter, Jamon Brown, and Matt Gono will all be competing for the job at left guard. On its own that’s kind of a hollow statement—of course that’s true as of right now, when those are the three competitors on the roster—but if you want to read more deeply into it there are some interesting takeaways.

The first, obviously, is that it suggests the team won’t be cutting Brown or Carpenter. In a way that makes sense, because Brown is going to cost the team more to cut than keep and Carpenter is only going to give the Falcons $1 million extra to play with if he’s gone. Both weren’t great a year ago, but both have a track record of better play elsewhere, and the Falcons will likely count on them as a starter-depth combo on the offensive line with Wes Schweitzer heading elsewhere.

The second is that Gono will be involved, as he should be. The team has spent two offseasons talking up Gono but have barely played him unless they were forced to, which isn’t the most inspiring sign for his future. He’s talented and has a bright future, however, and in an honest competition he could probably push both Brown and Carpenter to the bench. Dimitroff talked up his upside and promise, and at the very least he should be a key reserve.

The third takeaway is that the Falcons already have three players jockeying for one job. They’ll almost certainly add more competition via the draft—perhaps in the form of a player who they can groom to take over at center when Alex Mack is gone—but that also suggests that Atlanta might take my suggestion and attempt to roll through 2020 with what they have. It’s easily the most cost-effective and cost-conscious option, and no matter what the Falcons say, they aren’t exactly going to be flush with cap space this offseason.

That’s a lot to take away from a quick remark in an interview, I’ll freely admit, but I don’t think Dimitroff was just talking off the cuff here about the guard situation. We’ll have to hope they get much better results from left guard this season, regardless of who winds up starting.