The Falcons reportedly made a big push to keep Foye Oluokun, but they lost him to the Jaguars. It’s less clear how heavily they tried to invest in Russell Gage, but the result is the same, as he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We’ll be watching closely to see how they handle the inside linebacker group and the wide receiver corps going forward, but we do know one thing: They’re in line to get a compensatory pick in exchange for that loss.
Per Nick Korte at Over The Cap, Atlanta should be getting back a 4th round pick and 5th round pick back in 2023 for losing both players.
That gets the first 4th round 2023 compensatory pick on the board, to the Falcons for Foyesade Oluokun signing with the Jaguars. https://t.co/czleKqr3Zw— Nick Korte (@nickkorte) March 14, 2022
That'll add a 5th round 2023 compensatory pick on the Falcons' board, and also directly cancel out the 5th round valued contract of Alex Cappa on the Bucs' board. https://t.co/7PiVfQZQ3k— Nick Korte (@nickkorte) March 15, 2022
This isn’t a small thing, given the array of this team’s needs and the ongoing need to try to stock the roster with affordable young talent. Last year they traded their sixth round compensatory pick as part of a trade down with the Broncos that wound up netting a fourthrounder that brought them Drew Dalman, while they used fifth round compensatory picks to select Adetokunbo Ogundeji and Avery Williams. Dalman didn’t have much of a role in his first season, but Ogundeji was relied upon almost immediately and Williams carved out a significant special teams role. Their other fourth round pick, Darren Hall, wound up contributing down the stretch too.
Naturally, some of that is due to the state of the team, which has a ridiculous number of holes and has been willing to throw players at the wall and see if they stick. Even next year when the team will have some breathing room under the cap, though, that need for contributors will remain, because you can’t build a great team off of early round selections and free agents alone. That 2023 fourth rounder and fifth rounder could—and hopefully will—turn into good players.
The Falcons will, in other words, use these picks gladly. It’s never ideal to lose players you are prioritizing keeping, but this will ease the sting a bit.