The old front office never quite lost the capability to surprise us. Thomas Dimitroff would reach into his bag of tricks and rummage around for a guard pick in the top 15, pull off at least a slightly unexpected trade up, or sign a free agent I simply would not have thought the team would have prioritized. In between those curveballs, though, we had a pretty good feel for the way the team would attack its needs with veteran running backs, rotational defensive linemen, and stopgap guard signings and trades.
The arrival of a new front office means a lot of things, many of them hopefully positive, but it also means uncertainty. For the next three days or so, we have no idea what this Falcons team is going to do in free agency beyond what they’ve told us, which has been deliberately vague. For about a month and a half, the same is true about the draft, though free agency should at least help clarify what needs remain. The guesses have been plentiful and the confident predictions equally numerous, but nobody knows anything yet.
Enjoy that. An underrated part of being a fan is not knowing exactly what’s coming next and being able to fill that vacuum with your own theories, ideas, and hopeful notions, especially when you’re a Falcons fan and reality has tended to stomp on those things with very heavy boots. I think back to the 2019 offseason in particular, when Atlanta basically told us they would solve the offensive line and their offseason consisted of using most of their free agent dollars and two first round picks to try to do so, and remember the lack of surprise and the painful realization that all those investments did not translate into a line that was actually fixed at all. This offseason, with its promise of a best player available draft approach that may or may not come to fruition and a large raft of significant needs, will likely lead to some form of disappointment or another given both expectations and the limited resources Atlanta has to fix things. Right now, though, things are as wide open as can be, even if the lack of cap space is probably bumming out those of you hoping for Joe Thuney and Carl Lawson at the end of this week.
At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the Falcons can start making an offseason of conjecture and dreaming a reality. Feel free to keep daydreaming until then.