It’s been a busy week here at Falcoholic HQ. Get caught up on all of the free agency happenings in Friday’s edition of Falcoholinks.
Free safety Erik Harris reportedly signed
The Falcons are in desperate need of safety help this season with the departure of Ricardo Allen and the presumptive departures of both Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee, so naturally their first free agent signing is former Raiders and Saints safety Erik Harris.
Harris started 12 games for Las Vegas last season, but it’s unknown at this time if he’ll start or prove a depth piece for the secondary.
Matt Ryan’s restructure and its implications
In order to get under the cap — and not a minute too late, no less — the Falcons restructured quarterback Matt Ryan’s contract earlier in the week. The move means that in 2022, should the Falcons explore moving Ryan, it will be near impossible to do so once more.
But it could also impact how Atlanta chooses to address the 2021 NFL Draft, and it provides new GM Terry Fontenot more flexibility with other important pieces on the roster.
It also show’s the new regime’s thinking a bit when it comes to Matt Ryan and the value that he brings to the offense.
Dante Fowler reportedly to accept pay cut
Defensive end and 2020 marquee free agent signing Dante Fowler had a very forgettable inaugural campaign with Atlanta, and he’s reportedly prepared to accept a pay cut for the forthcoming season.
Alex Mack inks deal with 49ers
We presumed the Falcons would be moving on from longtime center Alex Mack, and earlier in the week he signed a shiny new contract to join Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers.
Falcons trade for TE Lee Smith
New head coach Arthur Smith loves him some blocking tight ends, so the first trade orchestrated on his watch was for Buffalo TE Lee Smith. Atlanta sent a 2022 seventh-rounder to Buffalo in exchange for Smith.
Kicker Younghoe Koo speaks out against violence against Asian Americans
Atlanta was rocked by the murder of eight people at three spas in Atlanta — six of the victims Asian women. Kicker Younghoe Koo was born in Seoul, South Korea, so this violence against the Asian American community is obviously intensely personal — as it is for fellow Falcoholic writer, David Walker.
OL Matt Gono tendered at second-round level
Offensive lineman Matt Gono entered the offseason as a restricted free agent, and now the Falcons have brought him back on a second-round tender, netting the intriguing lineman $3.38 million for 2021.
Tyeler Davison’s contract reworked
The Falcons cleared more cap space in advance of free agency by reworking defensive tackle Tyeler Davison’s contract, saving about $2 million.