Lots of draft and free agency links in today’s Falcoholinks. Dive in, Friday people.
The Falcons started some of their offseason roster shuffling on Thursday, most notably by releasing longtime free safety Ricardo Allen. They also released defensive end Allen Bailey. Both moves will reportedly save the team around $11 million as they seek to free up cap space entering the free agency period.
Among the trio of personnel moves they made yesterday included waiving three-year backup quarterback Kurt Benkert, making it clear that the QB spot is an area they will address this offseason.
With Atlanta sitting at No. 4 on the 2021 NFL Draft board, they have the chance to define the franchise with the move they make — or don’t make. We have no idea what will happen on draft night, what we do know is that the Falcons have a bevy of options.
Atlanta could shake the league landscape by trading up for the top quarterback in the draft, they could elect to trade back to nab their guy and some extra draft capital, or they could look at picking up a wide receiver or a runningback.
Half the fun of draft season is gaming out the different scenarios, however unlikely some of them may seem in theory.
This week the draft gurus at The Falcoholic Dot Com looked at a pair of first-round prospects who are likely on Atlanta’s draft board. Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields certainly is with the Falcons selecting inside the top-5. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah also has him landing in Atlanta in his latest mock.
EDGE Kwity Paye is certainly another possibility if the team decides to focus on the defense with their first pick on draft night, who they could possibly select in a trade-back scenario.
Potential free agents
The writers here at The Falcoholic were varied on their opinion of the must-sign in-house free agents, as Atlanta has a fairly extensive list of players set to hit the open market.
To address their enduring pass rush woes, there is an intriguing group of free agent defensive linemen who could be brought in. Kevin Knight took a look at who Atlanta may have its eye on in his latest free agency video.
And with new senior director of football administration Chris Olsen on board, he could look to his former team to address some areas in free agency.
The offseason has been headlined by the hiring of new GM Terry Fontenot and new head coach Arthur Smith. If the Falcons want to win now, Arthur Smith should rely on his veteran leadership, writes James Rael.
The Falcoholic Live Episode 314
A looming question as we look to the 2021 season: Will it be Matt Ryan’s last in Atlanta? The crew from The Falcoholic Live discussed this possibility and more during the latest live show. If you didn’t catch it, you can view the entire episode right here.