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theProf

Falcons 2018 Free Agents and Available Cap-Space

258 posts in this topic

 

       

Falcons Unrestricted Free Agents for 2018:

 

Player (16)

Pos.

Age

 

 

2017 AAV

Status

Dontari Poe

DT

27

 

 

$8,000,000

UFA

Adrian Clayborn

DE

29

 

 

$4,250,000

UFA

Matt Bryant

K

42

 

 

$2,833,333

UFA

Taylor Gabriel

WR

26

 

 

$2,746,000

UFA

Kemal Ishmael

SS

26

 

 

$2,000,000

UFA

Andre Roberts

WR

30

 

 

$1,800,000

UFA

Courtney Upshaw

DT

28

 

 

$1,150,000

UFA

Ahtyba Rubin

DT

31

 

 

$900,000

UFA

Austin Pasztor

T

27

 

 

$855,000

UFA

Blidi Wreh-Wilson

CB

28

 

 

$775,000

UFA

Sean Weatherspoon

ILB

30

 

 

$775,000

UFA

Leon McFadden

CB

27

 

 

$775,000

UFA

Ben Garland

G

29

 

 

$690,000

UFA

Jordan Tripp

ILB

26

 

 

$690,000

UFA

Derrick Coleman

FB

27

 

 

$690,000

UFA

Nick Williams

WR

27

 

 

$645,000

UFA

 

www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/atlanta-falcons/

 

Falcons Restricted Free Agents for 2018:

 

Player (3)

Pos.

Age

 

 

2017 AAV

Status

 

Ricardo Allen

SS

26

 

 

$615,000

RFA

 

Terrence Magee

RT

24

 

 

-

RFA

 

Terron Ward

RB

25

 

 

$570,000

RFA

 

 

Falcons Exclusive Rights Free Agents for 2018:

 

Player (2)

Pos.

Age

From

To

2017 AAV

Status

 

Jamil Douglas

C

25

ATL

TBD

$540,000

ERFA

 

Sharrod Neasman

S

26

ATL

TBD

$495,000

ERFA

 

 

 

Certain Falcons contracted players for 2018, including scheduled cap-charge for 2018 and cap-savings if cut without June 1 designation:

 

Andy Levitre $8,375,000 cap-charge; $7,000,000 cap-savings ($1,375,000 dead-money)

 

Derrick Shelby $5,750,000 cap-charge; $3,250,000 cap-savings ($2,500,000 dead-money)

 

Brooks Reed $5,440,000 cap-charge; $3,560,000 cap-savings ($1,880,000 dead-money)

 

Levine Toilolo $4,500,000 cap-charge; $2,500,000 cap-savings ($2,000,000 dead-money)

 

Matt Schaub $4,500,0000 cap-charge; $3,250,000 cap-savings ($1,250,000 dead-money)

 

Matt Bosher $2,700,000 cap-charge; $2,200,000 cap-savings ($500,000 dead-money)

 

 

*Jake Matthews $12,496,000 cap-charge (Falcons exercised 5th-year option on Matthews. The $12,496,000 becomes fully guaranteed in March, the start of the NFL 2018 year. I think if Matthews were to get cut before the start of the new NFL year, it would be a cap-savings of the full $12,496,000, but I'm not sure about this).

 

 

 

Falcons available cap-space as of January 15, 2018 according to:

 

Spotrac=  $18,772,712            http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/atlanta-falcons/cap/

 

OvertheCap=  $16,929,562    https://overthecap.com/salary-cap/atlanta-falcons/   

 

 

           
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
           

 

 

         

 

 

         

 

 

         

 

 

         

 

 

         

 

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"Every NFL Team's Biggest Flight Risk in 2018 Free Agency

Atlanta Falcons: WR Taylor Gabriel

Yes, Atlanta Falcons defensive linemen Dontari Poe (a two-time Pro Bowler) and Adrian Clayborn (enjoying a 9.5-sack season) are higher-profile impending free agents than wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. But Poe hasn't done a lot on a one-year contract and the soon-to-be-30-year-old Clayborn picked up 63 percent of those sacks in one game against a Pop Warner-caliber replacement left tackle. 

And because the Falcons already have so many offensive weapons under contract, they might have to prioritize those defensive veterans over Gabriel, who will likely receive plenty of interest from teams intrigued by his speed. 

The 26-year-old Abilene Christian product is known for being fast, but he's quietly caught a strong 68 percent of the passes thrown his way in his two years as a Falcon. He's yet to play a major role in that loaded offense, but it's still become obvious the Cleveland Browns made a mistake by releasing him prior to the 2016 season. 

The Falcons, who are paying Gabriel $2.7 million on a restricted-free-agent tender, surely want to keep him around. But don't be surprised if they wind up in a bidding war."

 

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2748274-every-nfl-teams-biggest-flight-risk-in-2018-free-agency

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I really don't think Gabriel's market value will be as high as people think. There are plenty of fast guys in the league at his size. There are not plenty of fast guys at Julio's size and that's the difference in market value. 

With that said he could definitely end up in San Francisco but that is no where near a foregone conclusion in my mind as some people think it is.  

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45 minutes ago, TSprings said:

I really don't think Gabriel's market value will be as high as people think. There are plenty of fast guys in the league at his size. There are not plenty of fast guys at Julio's size and that's the difference in market value. 

With that said he could definitely end up in San Francisco but that is no where near a foregone conclusion in my mind as some people think it is.  

Long term his career prospects are better in San Fran because he'll have better numbers with Shanahan.

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26 minutes ago, etherdome said:

It is clear that Gabriel is not a favorite target of Ryan.  I think he will play for Shanny next season.  

Yeah. we had few deep shots intended for him this season that just didn't go our way but Shanny just seemed to do a better job of getting him involved. Sark seems to just want to beat you straight up instead of scheming his guys open which is what Gabriel is built for.

Unless we think Reggie Davis or Marvin Hall are the guys, we should look to draft a WR in the mid rounds IMO. Problem with that is IDK how much Sark would utilize a third WR or "burner".

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3 minutes ago, The Don™ said:

Unless we think Reggie Davis or Marvin Hall are the guys, we should look to draft a WR in the mid rounds IMO. Problem with that is IDK how much Sark would utilize a third WR or "burner".

We don't need another "slot type" WR like Hardy or Gabriel. Sanu is actually in the slot quite a bit and can thrive there for awhile longer. What we need is a true #2 WR to pair with Julio and then move Sanu to the slot. If we were able to pick up a talent similar to Michael Thomas in rounds 2 or 3 I'd say go for it (Under the assumption we improve OL in FA and pick a DT in round 1.)

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3 hours ago, falcons007 said:

Expect the Allen and Ward to be tendered RFA. 

Brooks Reid is probably gone. 

 Levitre is not going anywhere. I thought they could cut him if the OG panned out. 

Most of the FA other than Clayborn and Poe will be easy to sign for cheap. 

Taylor Gabriel will probably end up in SFO. 

 

I would imagine that the Falcons would  put at least a second-round tender on Rico Allen, like they did with Gabriel last year. A second-round tender offer cost $2.7 million last year, but I don't know what it will be in 2018 yet.

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14 minutes ago, theProf said:

I would imagine that the Falcons would  put at least a second-round tender on Rico Allen, like they did with Gabriel last year. A second-round tender offer cost $2.7 million last year, but I don't know what it will be in 2018 yet.

It will probably be around 2.9 M. It’s been going up by 150-200k every year. 

2017: 2.7 M 

2016: 2.55 M

2015: 2.36 M 

2014: 2.18

They might even use first round tender for 3.5 M on Rico.

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"Atlanta Falcons: 5 Offseason moves the team needs to make

by Nick Sparrow

After losing 15-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons went home with their hopes of avenging their Super Bowl postponed for now.

With how the Atlanta Falcons looked in their Wild Card Round win over the Los Angeles Rams, there were rightfully high hopes for this team as they moved forward. Not only did they look akin to the team that went to the Super Bowl a year ago, but faced a Philadelphia Eagles team in Round 2 playing without their star quarterback, Carson Wentz.

As has been said many times before, though, that’s why they play the games. The Eagles came out and played a dominant defensive football game, limiting Matt Ryan and the Falcons to just 10 points on the day. In the end, that was enough room for Nick Foles to skate past Atlanta and knock the Falcons out of the postseason.

Now out of the 2018 NFL Playoffs, it’s time to move forward in Atlanta. And here are five offseason moves the team needs to make to stay successful.

5. Find a new offensive coordinator

It is never easy for coordinator in their first year. It takes time to implement a new system and get players to fully understand and play within it. However, the Atlanta Falcons offense falling from one of the greatest statistical offenses ever in 2016 under Kyle Shanahan to ranked just 15th under Steve Sarkisian this season is a drop off significant enough that it will likely cost Sarkisian his job.

As the Falcons fell 15-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, ending their season, it was hard to blame the lack of offensive contribution as the single biggest reason for the defeat. Any other team in the league might give Sarkisian one more season to grow with the team, but Shanahan proved the height that this offense can play at and the team will likely be unwilling to settle for a downgrade this significant, despite that fact that Shanahan’s shoes are likely impossible to fill either way.

4. Get better at the cornerback position

Cornerback Desmond Trufant is a fantastic player but the rest of Atlanta’s secondary lacks the star power to be considered an elite defensive unit. For a defense that relies so heavily on speed and tackling to get the job done, it is vital that the corner position can be relied upon to stop big plays.

One of the most interesting fits would be Josh Jackson out of Iowa, who is projected to go early in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Jackson is a versatile playmaker who has made a habit of forcing turnovers and making big plays, which is exactly what the Falcons need.

3. Add depth to the defensive line

With defensive tackle Dontari Poe likely departing the team in the offseason, Atlanta will need to find a replacement to stuff the run in the interior of the defensive line. Perhaps the best way to do that is to address the position in the draft. Players like Derrick Nnadi out of Florida State or Da’Ron Payne out of Alabama could fill that role perfectly for the Falcons at half the cost of what a player like Poe will be asking for on the open market.

Either way, having an anchor like that on the defensive line is huge for the team’s run defense and should be considered one of the top positions to fill in the offseason.

2. Give Julio Jones some help

There is no doubt that Julio Jones will be Atlanta’s top receiving threat for however long he chooses to spend with the team. Still, it feels at times that Jones is their only true dynamic playmaker on the offense. Devonta Freeman has his moments but has played inconsistently this season and receiver Mohamed Sanu is a talented role player but cannot change a game on his own.

By drafting a young receiver to grow alongside Jones the Falcons could start building one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, rather than just having one of the best receivers.

1. Focus on the safety position

While Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn was the defensive coordinator in Seattle, the defense was defined by the play of their safeties. It seems that Quinn has grown to like the versatility that safety Keanu Neal plays with, as Quinn often lines him up in the box for run support, so that leaves Ricardo Allen as the safety to be replaced or upgraded. This isn’t to say Allen is not a good player because he is.

According to Pro Football Focus Edge, Allen ranked as the 38th best safety in the NFL with a score of 80.3. Still, trying to compare Allen’s impact to that of Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor in Seattle is impossible. With rumors swirling about the “Legion of Boom” era in Seattle coming to an end, it should be considered if Quinn could trade for one of the Seattle safeties he used to coach and found so much success with.

 

https://nflspinzone.com/2018/01/14/atlanta-falcons-offseason-moves-to-make/3/

 

 
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4 minutes ago, theProf said:

"Atlanta Falcons: 5 Offseason moves the team needs to make

by Nick Sparrow

After losing 15-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons went home with their hopes of avenging their Super Bowl postponed for now.

With how the Atlanta Falcons looked in their Wild Card Round win over the Los Angeles Rams, there were rightfully high hopes for this team as they moved forward. Not only did they look akin to the team that went to the Super Bowl a year ago, but faced a Philadelphia Eagles team in Round 2 playing without their star quarterback, Carson Wentz.

As has been said many times before, though, that’s why they play the games. The Eagles came out and played a dominant defensive football game, limiting Matt Ryan and the Falcons to just 10 points on the day. In the end, that was enough room for Nick Foles to skate past Atlanta and knock the Falcons out of the postseason.

Now out of the 2018 NFL Playoffs, it’s time to move forward in Atlanta. And here are five offseason moves the team needs to make to stay successful.

5. Find a new offensive coordinator

It is never easy for coordinator in their first year. It takes time to implement a new system and get players to fully understand and play within it. However, the Atlanta Falcons offense falling from one of the greatest statistical offenses ever in 2016 under Kyle Shanahan to ranked just 15th under Steve Sarkisian this season is a drop off significant enough that it will likely cost Sarkisian his job.

As the Falcons fell 15-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, ending their season, it was hard to blame the lack of offensive contribution as the single biggest reason for the defeat. Any other team in the league might give Sarkisian one more season to grow with the team, but Shanahan proved the height that this offense can play at and the team will likely be unwilling to settle for a downgrade this significant, despite that fact that Shanahan’s shoes are likely impossible to fill either way.

4. Get better at the cornerback position

Cornerback Desmond Trufant is a fantastic player but the rest of Atlanta’s secondary lacks the star power to be considered an elite defensive unit. For a defense that relies so heavily on speed and tackling to get the job done, it is vital that the corner position can be relied upon to stop big plays.

One of the most interesting fits would be Josh Jackson out of Iowa, who is projected to go early in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Jackson is a versatile playmaker who has made a habit of forcing turnovers and making big plays, which is exactly what the Falcons need.

3. Add depth to the defensive line

With defensive tackle Dontari Poe likely departing the team in the offseason, Atlanta will need to find a replacement to stuff the run in the interior of the defensive line. Perhaps the best way to do that is to address the position in the draft. Players like Derrick Nnadi out of Florida State or Da’Ron Payne out of Alabama could fill that role perfectly for the Falcons at half the cost of what a player like Poe will be asking for on the open market.

Either way, having an anchor like that on the defensive line is huge for the team’s run defense and should be considered one of the top positions to fill in the offseason.

2. Give Julio Jones some help

There is no doubt that Julio Jones will be Atlanta’s top receiving threat for however long he chooses to spend with the team. Still, it feels at times that Jones is their only true dynamic playmaker on the offense. Devonta Freeman has his moments but has played inconsistently this season and receiver Mohamed Sanu is a talented role player but cannot change a game on his own.

By drafting a young receiver to grow alongside Jones the Falcons could start building one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, rather than just having one of the best receivers.

1. Focus on the safety position

While Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn was the defensive coordinator in Seattle, the defense was defined by the play of their safeties. It seems that Quinn has grown to like the versatility that safety Keanu Neal plays with, as Quinn often lines him up in the box for run support, so that leaves Ricardo Allen as the safety to be replaced or upgraded. This isn’t to say Allen is not a good player because he is.

According to Pro Football Focus Edge, Allen ranked as the 38th best safety in the NFL with a score of 80.3. Still, trying to compare Allen’s impact to that of Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor in Seattle is impossible. With rumors swirling about the “Legion of Boom” era in Seattle coming to an end, it should be considered if Quinn could trade for one of the Seattle safeties he used to coach and found so much success with.

 

https://nflspinzone.com/2018/01/14/atlanta-falcons-offseason-moves-to-make/3/

 

 

I am not sure getting a new safety is this teams #1 priority. I don't think it is a given that Poe leaves after this year. No mention of shoring up or even revamping the O-Line. I also don't understand the Robert Alford and or how Trufant is getting so much more love the Alford. My thought is this

1. O-Line -  starting RG - Did something happen to Schraeder after his concussion he was not very good this year

2. DT - What happens to Poe? We do need more beef on the D-Line

3. WR - Julio and Sanu need more help

4. TE and FB

5. Corners

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I could definitely see Levitre getting cut if he doesn't agree to a re-structure.  $8 mill cap hit and we save $7 mill if he's cut.  Brooks Reed is the other that I could see being cut.  Tender Ricardo Allen.  

Our #1 and #2 priorities this offseason, need to be OL and DL, respectively.  Either draft a OG or sign one in FA.  I'd be up for resigning Poe, but only at a reasonable cost, if he's looking for a top tier DT contract, let him walk.  I really would like for us to re-sign Clayborn, hopefully to a 2-year deal.  

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56 minutes ago, theProf said:

"Atlanta Falcons: 5 Offseason moves the team needs to make

by Nick Sparrow

After losing 15-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons went home with their hopes of avenging their Super Bowl postponed for now.

With how the Atlanta Falcons looked in their Wild Card Round win over the Los Angeles Rams, there were rightfully high hopes for this team as they moved forward. Not only did they look akin to the team that went to the Super Bowl a year ago, but faced a Philadelphia Eagles team in Round 2 playing without their star quarterback, Carson Wentz.

As has been said many times before, though, that’s why they play the games. The Eagles came out and played a dominant defensive football game, limiting Matt Ryan and the Falcons to just 10 points on the day. In the end, that was enough room for Nick Foles to skate past Atlanta and knock the Falcons out of the postseason.

Now out of the 2018 NFL Playoffs, it’s time to move forward in Atlanta. And here are five offseason moves the team needs to make to stay successful.

5. Find a new offensive coordinator

It is never easy for coordinator in their first year. It takes time to implement a new system and get players to fully understand and play within it. However, the Atlanta Falcons offense falling from one of the greatest statistical offenses ever in 2016 under Kyle Shanahan to ranked just 15th under Steve Sarkisian this season is a drop off significant enough that it will likely cost Sarkisian his job.

As the Falcons fell 15-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, ending their season, it was hard to blame the lack of offensive contribution as the single biggest reason for the defeat. Any other team in the league might give Sarkisian one more season to grow with the team, but Shanahan proved the height that this offense can play at and the team will likely be unwilling to settle for a downgrade this significant, despite that fact that Shanahan’s shoes are likely impossible to fill either way.

4. Get better at the cornerback position

Cornerback Desmond Trufant is a fantastic player but the rest of Atlanta’s secondary lacks the star power to be considered an elite defensive unit. For a defense that relies so heavily on speed and tackling to get the job done, it is vital that the corner position can be relied upon to stop big plays.

One of the most interesting fits would be Josh Jackson out of Iowa, who is projected to go early in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Jackson is a versatile playmaker who has made a habit of forcing turnovers and making big plays, which is exactly what the Falcons need.

3. Add depth to the defensive line

With defensive tackle Dontari Poe likely departing the team in the offseason, Atlanta will need to find a replacement to stuff the run in the interior of the defensive line. Perhaps the best way to do that is to address the position in the draft. Players like Derrick Nnadi out of Florida State or Da’Ron Payne out of Alabama could fill that role perfectly for the Falcons at half the cost of what a player like Poe will be asking for on the open market.

Either way, having an anchor like that on the defensive line is huge for the team’s run defense and should be considered one of the top positions to fill in the offseason.

2. Give Julio Jones some help

There is no doubt that Julio Jones will be Atlanta’s top receiving threat for however long he chooses to spend with the team. Still, it feels at times that Jones is their only true dynamic playmaker on the offense. Devonta Freeman has his moments but has played inconsistently this season and receiver Mohamed Sanu is a talented role player but cannot change a game on his own.

By drafting a young receiver to grow alongside Jones the Falcons could start building one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, rather than just having one of the best receivers.

1. Focus on the safety position

While Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn was the defensive coordinator in Seattle, the defense was defined by the play of their safeties. It seems that Quinn has grown to like the versatility that safety Keanu Neal plays with, as Quinn often lines him up in the box for run support, so that leaves Ricardo Allen as the safety to be replaced or upgraded. This isn’t to say Allen is not a good player because he is.

According to Pro Football Focus Edge, Allen ranked as the 38th best safety in the NFL with a score of 80.3. Still, trying to compare Allen’s impact to that of Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor in Seattle is impossible. With rumors swirling about the “Legion of Boom” era in Seattle coming to an end, it should be considered if Quinn could trade for one of the Seattle safeties he used to coach and found so much success with.

 

https://nflspinzone.com/2018/01/14/atlanta-falcons-offseason-moves-to-make/3/

 

 

He doesn't watch Falcons football. O line and d line are the biggest needs and it isn't close. Horrible article

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5 hours ago, etherdome said:

It is clear that Gabriel is not a favorite target of Ryan.  I think he will play for Shanny next season.  

This. We need a more dedicated 'slot' receiver. Gabriel is just a burner and he's extremely small. Virtually useless in the redzone.

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1 hour ago, theProf said:

"Atlanta Falcons: 5 Offseason moves the team needs to make

by Nick Sparrow

After losing 15-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons went home with their hopes of avenging their Super Bowl postponed for now.

5. Find a new offensive coordinator

4. Get better at the cornerback position

3. Add depth to the defensive line

2. Give Julio Jones some help

1. Focus on the safety position

 

https://nflspinzone.com/2018/01/14/atlanta-falcons-offseason-moves-to-make/3/

 

 

This is a really bad article. For several reasons:

1. Like it or not, Sark will be here next year. The offense performed similarly to Shanahan's year 1 offense
2. CB position? Just stop. Trufant is better than people want to admit, and Alford is really really good. Poole isn't great, but he is far from trash.
3. He may have a point with this, but our DL isn't that bad. 
4. Julio help? Yeah so let's spend more money on skill positions when the OL is average at best
5. Maybe he has point with safety help, but he also says Rico isn't that bad. 

Just think this guy has no idea what he is talking about. 

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1 hour ago, Flyin' In DC said:

I am not sure getting a new safety is this teams #1 priority. I don't think it is a given that Poe leaves after this year. No mention of shoring up or even revamping the O-Line. I also don't understand the Robert Alford and or how Trufant is getting so much more love the Alford. My thought is this

1. O-Line -  starting RG - Did something happen to Schraeder after his concussion he was not very good this year

2. DT - What happens to Poe? We do need more beef on the D-Line

3. WR - Julio and Sanu need more help

4. TE and FB

5. Corners


I think a big part of Schraeders drop off is he is having to help Wes and worry about the guy on the inside also as much as the outside.  When he had chester there he could pretty much just worry about his guy 1 on 1 and done a great job and was one of the best RT's in football.   With wes there getting whipped left and right  Schraeder is having to step in at times along with mack to help him with his guy and it is causing him a much tougher time to handle just the Rt position.    If we can upgrade the RG spot i think you would see Ryan go back to dominating at RT again.

The rest of the list i can agree with and have no problem with it i would slide #4 above another WR to #3 but still we need to fix all of those problems.   A late round CB with high upside or another solid vet CB to add to our group wouldn't be a bad thing either.

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1 hour ago, Flyin' In DC said:

I am not sure getting a new safety is this teams #1 priority. (Agree, Safety is not the #1 priority nor even a top priority). I don't think it is a given that Poe leaves after this year.  No mention of shoring up or even revamping the O-Line. (Agree that this would be a top priority) I also don't understand the Robert Alford and or how Trufant is getting so much more love the Alford.(Yep, Falcons have two good starting outside CBs) My thought is this

1. O-Line -  starting RG - (Agree) Did something happen to Schraeder after his concussion he was not very good this year (I hope it was that, because Schreader did not play as well this season)

2. DT - What happens to Poe? We do need more beef on the D-Line (Depends upon how much money he is asking for, hopefully a reasonable amount.  Even if the Falcons are able to re-sign Poe for a reasonable contract, they still need to draft a good young DT)

3. WR - Julio and Sanu need more help (Agree. The Falcons need a WR/Returner in a big way)

4. TE and FB (Definitely need a new FB)

5. Corners 

My comments in red above.

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5 hours ago, shock said:

We don't need another "slot type" WR like Hardy or Gabriel. Sanu is actually in the slot quite a bit and can thrive there for awhile longer. What we need is a true #2 WR to pair with Julio and then move Sanu to the slot. If we were able to pick up a talent similar to Michael Thomas in rounds 2 or 3 I'd say go for it (Under the assumption we improve OL in FA and pick a DT in round 1.)

I really like this perspective. 

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2 hours ago, theProf said:

"Atlanta Falcons: 5 Offseason moves the team needs to make

by Nick Sparrow

After losing 15-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons went home with their hopes of avenging their Super Bowl postponed for now.

With how the Atlanta Falcons looked in their Wild Card Round win over the Los Angeles Rams, there were rightfully high hopes for this team as they moved forward. Not only did they look akin to the team that went to the Super Bowl a year ago, but faced a Philadelphia Eagles team in Round 2 playing without their star quarterback, Carson Wentz.

As has been said many times before, though, that’s why they play the games. The Eagles came out and played a dominant defensive football game, limiting Matt Ryan and the Falcons to just 10 points on the day. In the end, that was enough room for Nick Foles to skate past Atlanta and knock the Falcons out of the postseason.

Now out of the 2018 NFL Playoffs, it’s time to move forward in Atlanta. And here are five offseason moves the team needs to make to stay successful.

5. Find a new offensive coordinator

It is never easy for coordinator in their first year. It takes time to implement a new system and get players to fully understand and play within it. However, the Atlanta Falcons offense falling from one of the greatest statistical offenses ever in 2016 under Kyle Shanahan to ranked just 15th under Steve Sarkisian this season is a drop off significant enough that it will likely cost Sarkisian his job.

As the Falcons fell 15-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, ending their season, it was hard to blame the lack of offensive contribution as the single biggest reason for the defeat. Any other team in the league might give Sarkisian one more season to grow with the team, but Shanahan proved the height that this offense can play at and the team will likely be unwilling to settle for a downgrade this significant, despite that fact that Shanahan’s shoes are likely impossible to fill either way.

4. Get better at the cornerback position

Cornerback Desmond Trufant is a fantastic player but the rest of Atlanta’s secondary lacks the star power to be considered an elite defensive unit. For a defense that relies so heavily on speed and tackling to get the job done, it is vital that the corner position can be relied upon to stop big plays.

One of the most interesting fits would be Josh Jackson out of Iowa, who is projected to go early in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Jackson is a versatile playmaker who has made a habit of forcing turnovers and making big plays, which is exactly what the Falcons need.

3. Add depth to the defensive line

With defensive tackle Dontari Poe likely departing the team in the offseason, Atlanta will need to find a replacement to stuff the run in the interior of the defensive line. Perhaps the best way to do that is to address the position in the draft. Players like Derrick Nnadi out of Florida State or Da’Ron Payne out of Alabama could fill that role perfectly for the Falcons at half the cost of what a player like Poe will be asking for on the open market.

Either way, having an anchor like that on the defensive line is huge for the team’s run defense and should be considered one of the top positions to fill in the offseason.

2. Give Julio Jones some help

There is no doubt that Julio Jones will be Atlanta’s top receiving threat for however long he chooses to spend with the team. Still, it feels at times that Jones is their only true dynamic playmaker on the offense. Devonta Freeman has his moments but has played inconsistently this season and receiver Mohamed Sanu is a talented role player but cannot change a game on his own.

By drafting a young receiver to grow alongside Jones the Falcons could start building one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, rather than just having one of the best receivers.

1. Focus on the safety position

While Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn was the defensive coordinator in Seattle, the defense was defined by the play of their safeties. It seems that Quinn has grown to like the versatility that safety Keanu Neal plays with, as Quinn often lines him up in the box for run support, so that leaves Ricardo Allen as the safety to be replaced or upgraded. This isn’t to say Allen is not a good player because he is.

According to Pro Football Focus Edge, Allen ranked as the 38th best safety in the NFL with a score of 80.3. Still, trying to compare Allen’s impact to that of Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor in Seattle is impossible. With rumors swirling about the “Legion of Boom” era in Seattle coming to an end, it should be considered if Quinn could trade for one of the Seattle safeties he used to coach and found so much success with.

https://nflspinzone.com/2018/01/14/atlanta-falcons-offseason-moves-to-make/3/

 

I know these don't necessarily represent your views, but man, that's an atrocious article imho.

Emmitt, rounz, Vandy and 1 other like this

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1 minute ago, Falcan Moore said:

I know these don't necessarily represent your views, but man, that's an atrocious article imho.

Yep, I just posted that particular article to spur some additional discussion on what the Falcons true off-season needs really should be. Some of the so-called expert "pundits" can be significantly off in their assessments.

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i was looking at this last week and to be honest we save a lot by cutting levitre. im on the femce about resigning poe, our run defense was weak and thats what he was paid to do. i want us to bring clayborn back but more of a rotational guy with mckinley but i think he will bring more money elsewhere. but we free up a lot of cap space cutting levitre

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If the Falcons can get someone like JuJu Smith-Schuster in the late 2nd or 3rd, then I would be all for it. Goodbye to Gabriel, Brooks, Poe, and probably Clayborn. It'll be interesting to see how they upgrade the OG and DT/DL positions through FA and the draft.

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Excerpt from another article:

"Biggest offseason needs

  • Right guard
  • Defensive tackle
  • Free safety

The Falcons are pretty much set on offense, but the one weak spot of the offensive line remains at right guard, where Wes Schweitzer hasn't played up to the level of his linemates. The team could also explore bringing in a better receiver at the tight end position, but Austin Hooper still has room to grow.

Defensively, the Falcons are set to lose Adrian Clayborn and Dontari Poe to free agency, and while they have the depth to overcome the loss of Clayborn, particularly if rookie Takk McKinley takes over a bigger role moving forward, finding a defensive tackle to play next to Grady Jarrett should be one of the team's top priorities this offseason. The secondary remains in place, but one spot that could use an upgrade is at safety to pair with young star Keanu Neal."

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/news/2018-nfl-draft-atlanta-falcons-team-needs-draft-picks-prospects-to-watch/

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