The Falcons have a big problem. The team is broke after back-to-back 7-9 seasons. They have one defensive lineman. The offensive line is in shambles one year after the general manager promised to fix the position. The coaching staff narrowly kept their jobs after starting the season among the worst teams in the league. They cannot afford to sign anyone. Austin Hooper, one of the very best tight ends in franchise history, will leave in free agency after not receiving so much as a contract offer from Atlanta.
Thomas Dimitroff calls this a “good spot.”
This offseason has been dedicated to hopelessly pushing the narrative that the Falcons can fix what went wrong with the same coaches and without spending any money. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution transcribed Dimitroff’s remarks regarding the team’s cap situation.
I was doing my own research on the definition of hell and it’s perpetual fire. We are not in an un-ending or perpetual fire (situation). We are in a situation, as I alluded to earlier, when you spend money on the people that you’re spending money on, you’re in a situation from year to year ... where every year is the same in the sense of we really look at our players.
Per Dimitroff, this cap situation is exactly as planned. While he wants to highlight that the team is paying top players like Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Grady Jarrett, and Deion Jones, the team is struggling because of a number of foolish deals for players like Jamon Brown, James Carpenter, Luke Stocker, Ty Sambrailo, and Devonta Freeman. The team would have more breathing room if Dimitroff did not hold onto Vic Beasley in 2019 at a premium of nearly $13 million.
Dimitroff and other team brass continue to talk about creative options to free up spending money yet the team’s cap remains among the worst in the league. If the team was able to “creatively” free up space, they would have done it to keep Hooper, De’Vondre Campbell, and even backup Wes Schweitzer who gets starter snaps every season.
Popular belief is the Falcons are waiting for a new CBA because they desperately need to offset big cap hits on players like Freeman and Carpenter. Other bad decisions like Brown are too expensive to cut. Despite being benched late in the season, he is nearly guaranteed to return in 2020. The coaching staff must be hoping and praying converted tackle Matt Gono can fill in at guard. Luckily, Beasley was so bad in 2019 that his loss will not be felt in 2020.
Again, Dimitroff calls this a “good spot.” Everyone else calls it cap hell.