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Falcons reportedly pushing to keep LB Foye Oluokun, WR Russell Gage ahead of free agency

It looks like the Falcons are prioritizing their own as free agency looms.

Detroit Lions v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

With Monday’s legal tampering period about to get underway and deals about to flood the timeline, we’re undoubtedly going to find out much more about the Atlanta Falcons’ top free agents sooner than later.

We do have a few notes based on reports that have landed in recent days.

While the fate of all-purpose offensive weapon Cordarrelle Patterson remains a mystery despite the obvious overtures for both he and the Falcons wanting to get a deal done in theory, the future of linebacker Foyesade Oluokun and wideout Russell Gage at least received some some clarification Sunday.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Sunday that the Falcons have “made progress” in brokering an extension for Oluokun to secure his future in Atlanta.

Atlanta has made progress in efforts to extend linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, who is one of the biggest risers in free agency. The Falcons are pushing to re-sign him before Wednesday, and he should cost well above $10 million per year. Oluokun was highly productive for the Atlanta defense with a league-leading 192 combined tackles, two sacks, three interceptions and six pass deflections.

Oluokun’s past two seasons have earned him the right to be one of the most coveted linebackers in free agency this year, and it makes sense for Atlanta to want to keep him since he wore the “green dot” for defensive coordinator Dean Pees this year and called the plays on the defense. With linebacker Deion Jones’ fate in Atlanta very much up in the air for 2022, having Oluokun around for the next few years feels like a wise investment.

With Gage, NFL insider Jordan Schultz says that the Falcons are hoping to keep him, but that a team like the Detroit Lions might also be interested in Gage’s services.

Gage is another one whose 2021 play has earned him a bigger deal. He is currently 33rd in Gregg Rosenthal’s annual list of the 101 best free agents (having risen a bit after deals were done elsewhere), and he’s clearly going to attract some interest as a second fiddle in an offense.

Whether or not the Falcons can afford to keep Oluokun, Gage and Patterson and be somewhat active to address other roster holes remains very much to be seen, with more avenues to free up cap desperately needed as the team sits at roughly $16 million in cap.

Grady Jarrett, Jake Matthews and Jones are the three contracts to watch as the team looks to explore more avenues to save, as are the potential cuts of guys like Mike Davis, Tyeler Davison, Kendall Sheffield, Keith Smith and John Cominsky for cap purposes.

More will be known soon, so as our head honcho says, gird those loins and keep up-to-date with The Falcoholic this week as free agency gets going in full.