With the Falcons closing in on hiring their head coach and general manager of the future, much has been made about their poor situation with the salary cap. Atlanta has a very top-heavy roster and would be in dire straits if the NFL were to drop the cap down to the lowest possible limit at $175M. Even if the league keeps the cap steady for 2021—which I think is the mostly likely outcome—Atlanta could enter the offseason already negative or close to $0 in space with a lot of holes to fill on the roster.
All hope is not lost, however, as there are a variety of moves that the Falcons can make this offseason to free up cap space. From veteran cuts to restructures of big contracts, Atlanta has options to get under the cap, keep the core of the roster intact, and possibly even have the flexibility to accommodate a few mid-level signings.
I’m starting things off by taking a lot of possible veteran cuts for the Falcons. There are several players whose contracts make a lot of financial sense to cut, and who could free up between $14-23M in cap space for 2021. These players are Ricardo Allen, Allen Bailey, James Carpenter, and Dante Fowler. Check out the video below for an in-depth breakdown of their contracts and the possible cap savings.
While moving on from these players could give the Falcons a lot of breathing room against the cap, they would create another set of issues. Atlanta would have no EDGE players under contract in 2021 after moving on from Bailey and Fowler. The team would need to find a new starter at FS and a new starter at LG if they moved on from both Allen and Carpenter. I think it’s certainly possible to patch those holes with smart drafting and a few cheap to mid-level veterans, but that’s easier said than done.
I hope you enjoy the first in our series of videos taking a look at the Falcons cap situation! Please leave your comments below and let me know what other types of breakdowns you’d like to see. If you haven’t already, be sure to Like the video and Subscribe to our YouTube channel!