It may only be February but we do not have any clues with where the new general manager and head coach want to go with this offseason. It is going to be a pivotal offseason with the team needing a drastic influx of talent to fit new schemes and replace players no longer under contract. Oh, and the Falcons have to do it all with negative cap space.
Sort of like how in Apollo 13 scientists had to engineer a life-saving device with a bunch of garbage laying around the spaceship. Atlanta’s garbage being a pretty decent draft slot thanks to so many crippling losses in 2020.
We still are not sure how the Falcons will do it. They need at least two offensive linemen, two safeties, three defensive linemen, and at least one tight end, running back, and cornerback. And this is before we even see some cap cuts.
Could the Falcons really spend their scarce resources on a quarterback who won’t play in 2021? Steve Wyche of NFL Network says no.
Wyche strongly believes the Falcons will show interest in each and every quarterback leading up to the draft. However, that is all a smokescreen with the hope of trading down.
If Terry Fonteot wants to prove he is different from his predecessor, trading down in the first round would be quite the start.
Wyche, a former Falcons beat writer, has maintained strong connections with the team despite moving over to the NFL over a decade ago. He appears to strongly believe the Falcons will trade down and build in the trenches. That is a good plan because the Falcons need at least five linemen then hope they stay healthy.
While some of the top quarterbacks outside of Trevor Lawrence may be interesting, especially in light of the fact that the Falcons have not had a top-5 pick since picking Matt Ryan, there is nothing indicating either Fontenot or Arthur Smith are proponents of grabbing a young quarterback.
Fontenot, as part of the Saints, built around Drew Brees for years. Even when the Saints made a major trade up with Lamar Jackson on the clock, they took a pass rusher. For Arthur Smith, he got a Pro Bowl season out of Ryan Tannehill who came to Tennessee on a backup deal. Both have made it work very successfully with veteran quarterbacks and winning in the trenches.
That is good news for Matt Ryan.