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The Falcons gain over $10 million in cap space tomorrow, and have intriguing options this year

Welcome to June, where cap space finally arrives.

NFL: OCT 13 Falcons at Cardinals Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cap space has been in short supply for the Falcons in 2020. Despite all that, Atlanta’s put together a pretty solid offseason, bolstering the pass rush, adding a feature back, and shoring up depth more or less across the roster. It’s one of the better free agent classes the Falcons have put together in recent years, overall, and this team might not be done assembling it.

That’s because Desmond Trufant was a post-June 1 cut. We still don’t love the decision to release Trufant, given that he was coming off a very good but injury-shortened season and was the only high-end proven veteran at cornerback the team had, but the hope is that A.J. Terrell will be a capable replacement right away. The other hope is that the $10.75 million they’re getting from cutting him is going to be enough to sign Terrell and the rest of the draft class and add one or two free agents who will help push this team over the top in 2020. It’s far from a given that they’ll be a great team this year—hell, it’s not even a given they’ll be a good one—but more additions aren’t going to hurt the cause there.

If this team has a name or two in mind—and with a surprisingly robust stable of free agents out there, they might—we may find out what they intend to do with that money sooner than later. Larry Warford would be a stellar addition at guard, Everson Griffen would be a potent addition to the defensive end rotation, and both Mike Daniels and Snacks Harrison would add another imposing piece to the interior of the defensive line. For once, there’s no shortage of quality options in June.

But who do we want them to add? It’s not clear to me that anyone other than a top shelf pass rusher or linebacker would even get much of an opportunity on defense, given what the team spent their offseason building, so short of a Jadeveon Clowney, Vinny Curry, or Everson Griffen, I can’t see them spending big on that side of the ball. On offense, the options are far more limited, but Warford would lift this offensive line from “good with the potential to be great” to something very close to great, making him my preferred signing. I know that’s out of step with my “the Falcons can get by at left guard” declaration earlier in the spring, but that’s because I didn’t expect someone as good as Warford to be kicking around the market.

Regardless of the direction the Falcons go in, I’m hoping for a less-than-customary summer signing who winds up being an impactful player this year. There would be nothing better than seeing Atlanta blow by highly-hyped Buccaneers and Saints teams, and a very good starting guard or another pass rushing piece would help give them a fighting chance of pulling off that kind of surprise.

While you mull who you’d like to see in Atlanta—and you may have to mull a while, because this team isn’t necessarily in a hurry—be sure to check out Kevin Knight’s running series of potential signings.