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Post-June 1st free agency targets: Tight end

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The Falcons will be getting $10.75M in cap space after June 1st from the Desmond Trufant cut. Here are some potential targets at TE, which is very unsettled behind recent trade addition Hayden Hurst.

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Falcons are pretty strapped for cap space right now, but that is going to change soon. Due to the designation of Desmond Trufant as a “post-June 1st” cut, the team will be receiving a significant windfall of cap relief in early June. Atlanta will be getting back exactly $10.75M next month, with $4.4M in dead cap remaining on Trufant’s deal. This money is going to be used, in part, to pay for the draft class. Due to the top-51 rule, however, this will only cost the team about $2.5M against the cap. That should theoretically leave about $8.25M for the team to use for potential free agent additions.

If you missed any of the previous entries in this series, you can find them below:

RB | WR | TE

Today’s group is TE, where the group will look significantly different than in previous years. Recent trade addition Hayden Hurst will presumably take over TE1 duties, but it’s an open competition behind him with few proven options. Could the team consider adding a veteran to the mix? Here are some of the best fits for Atlanta on the current free agent market.

Delanie Walker

If the Falcons are looking for a receiving tight end opposite Hayden Hurst, the best option on the market is veteran Delanie Walker. Walker is 35 and will be 36 heading into the 2020 season, and has dealt with season-ending injuries in both 2018 and 2019. However, Walker was still a weapon when healthy in 2019 and can probably still be a complementary piece in 2020. His age and injury history should make him fairly affordable, too. It would be a boom or bust signing, but Walker could be an option if the Falcons aren’t convinced Jaeden Graham or Jared Pinkney can be their TE2.

Charles Clay

After signing a big free agent deal to play in Buffalo, Charles Clay never really turned into the star TE the Bills were hoping for. That doesn’t mean he was bad, however: Clay turned in 3 straight seasons of more than 500 yards in Buffalo. He’s a good blocker too, and despite limited usage in Arizona in 2019, Clay managed an impressive 13.2 YPR. He’s probably the most expensive option on the list, but he’d form a pretty good duo with Hayden Hurst. If Dirk Koetter is planning more 12 personnel looks, Clay could be an intriguing addition.

Ed Dickson

Career journeyman Ed Dickson had an impressive season in 2017, putting up 437 yards and nearly 15 YPR with Carolina. He’s been slowed down by injuries since joining the Seahawks in 2018, but looked solid when on the field. Dickson will be 33 when the season starts, but he’s got a ton of experience as both a receiver and a quality blocker. His recent injury history will make him very affordable should the Falcons want to add another veteran to the mix in camp.

Luke Stocker

Another potential reunion opportunity for the Falcons could be Luke Stocker, who we know Dirk Koetter loves. Stocker didn’t justify his price tag in 2019, but he’s still a quality blocker and dump-off option. If injuries strike or the Falcons simply need a reliable veteran blocker, they could do worse than Stocker, who also has experience in the scheme and rapport with Matt Ryan. He should also be much cheaper than last season.

What are your thoughts on the Falcons potentially adding a veteran TE after June 1st? Are there any players you’d like to see the team target? Or do you think the depth chart is fairly settled heading into training camp?