The Falcons are set to be flush with a historic amount of cap space in 2023, auguring the kind of free agent spending spree we haven’t seen in Atlanta for a good long while. It appears they’re not quite content with all that cash, though.
Despite sitting on an estimated $69 million in cap space, per Over The Cap, the Falcons can easily clear $80 million by cutting ties with quarterback Marcus Mariota, who went on season-ending injured reserve and does not appear to be part of the team’s future plans. There are also undoubtedly smaller clever ways they can free up extra space to take big swings at free agency and trades if they’d like to. One of those already happened, as they reportedly have already cleared $70 million on Tuesday with a move involving Jake Matthews’ roster bonus.
On the final day to do so to take advantage of 2022 cap space, the Falcons accelerated $7M of OT Jake Matthews’ 2023 roster bonus onto this league year.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 10, 2023
The Falcons created $4.2M in 2023 space as a result, per source.
Atlanta is poised to have ~$70M in cap space this offseason.
That move essentially chews up the cap space the Falcons had remaining in 2022, but they no longer need that money to do anything. This is yet another example of the team choosing to take a hit in 2022 that will benefit them in 2023, something they most notably did with all the trades and contract restructures over the past year which saw them carrying a franchise record amount of dead money. Matthews gets his bonus regardless, and with this one neat trick Atlanta’s juicing their already abundant cap space even more.
One thing is very clear: This isn’t happening so the Falcons can have another modest offseason. For the first time in recent memory, no move feels like it’s entirely off the table for Atlanta, which is poised to take advantage of a weakened NFC South with a number of major additions to a roster that badly needs them. We’ll see if they make any more moves in the near future to clear space, but suffice to say you should expect this to be a lively spring.