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The 2018 FA Class Is Very Weak


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Looking at the list of FAs this coming offseason, I can't help but feel underwhelmed at the potential available talent. The Falcons will have a sizeable amount of cap space, but I just don't see who they'd spend that money on, nor do I see a need to cut solid roster players with high cap hits to make any large bids. Andrew Norwell, to me, is the only player in FA worth opening the vault for.

However, this might be a good thing, considering the 2019 FA class is shaping up to be one of the strongest in recent memory. Saving money and carrying over cap space could yield a massive haul, especially with some bad contracts expiring/eligible to be cut and young studs needing extensions.

Have a look:

Noteworthy 2018 FAs (relevant to Falcons' needs)

Andrew Norwell, G

Zach Brown, LB

Tyler Eifert, TE

Jimmy Graham, TE

Sheldon Richardson, DT

Ezekiel Ansah, DE

Lamarcus Joyner, FS/NB

 

That's really all I can see for us. Norwell being the only I'd dish out money to. DeMarcus Lawrence will be re-signed or tagged, LeVeon is a no-go, WR class is weak, LB class is weak, in regards to DTs likely the best FA available is our own player (whom I think can be replaced easily through the draft). It's a year I'm content with the Falcons not spending, frankly. I'd scrape the bargain bin for some depth and leadership and capitalize on some cap casualties -- that's it. 

Now look ahead to 2019. The only MUST signs (assuming a Matt Ryan extension this offseason) the Falcons will have are Grady Jarrett and Jake Matthews. And while, surely, several of these players will be extended prior to hitting FA, it's shaping up to be a fantastic class:

Noteworthy 2019 FAs (relevant to Falcons' needs)

Robert Quinn, DE

Richard Sherman, CB

Odell Beckham, WR

Aaron Donald, DT

Clay Matthews, OLB

Jadeveon Clowney, DE

Joe Thomas, LT

Zack Martin, G

Geno Atkins, DT

Khalil Mack, DE

Kwon Alexander, ILB

Earl Thomas, FS

Duane Brown, LT

Jordy Nelson, WR

Cameron Wake, DE

Carlos Dunlap, DE

Greg Olson, TE

Cliff Avril, DE

Delanie Walker, TE

Josh Sitton, G

Brandon Graham, DE

Ritchie Incognito, G

Anthony Barr, OLB

Taylor Lewan, LT

Danielle Hunter, DE

 

A drastic change in quality. A healthy portion of these players will slip through to FA -- I'd save up for them instead of wasting money on 2018's marginal talent.

 

 

 

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WRers I'd look at are Sammy Watkins thanks KoG,

Terelle Pryor not sure on his status and of Josh Gordon all have huge upsides with a lot of risk attached to Gordon but talent wise wow.

Zach Brown would be worth a look he's a run hit tackle guy dependent on how they feel about Riley.

G well it's well documented but at this point in time I'll lean on Hubbard from the Steelers.

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3 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

WRers I'd look at are Sammy Watkins thanks KoG,

Terelle Pryor not sure on his status and of Josh Gordon all have huge upsides with a lot of risk attached to Gordon but talent wise wow.

Zach Brown would be worth a look he's a run hit tackle guy dependent on how they feel about Riley.

G well it's well documented but at this point in time I'll lean on Hubbard from the Steelers.

Sammy Watkins, Terelle Pyor and Josh Gordon, as FAs, do not inspire a ton of confidence in me. Tons of talent there. But if I'm going to gamble on high-ceiling, low-floor players, I'd do it in the draft instead of attaching $$$$$ to them.

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I dont think 2018 is weak at all....I think there are a lot of really nice players that could create some serious second contract surplus. 

Anytime you look ahead a year, the FA class looks significantly stronger. Because teams havent prioritized retaining the potential FAs yet. Of the guys listed here, the majority of the actually desirable players won't sniff FA. I'd guess most of the old guys do but that list looks a whole lot different if you take the following names off of it: Danielle Hunter, Khalil Mack, Odell Beckham, Jadeveon Clowney, Zack Martin, Taylor Lewan, Aaron Donald. None of those dudes are going to see FA. Also, some of the dudes on the 2019 list are probably going to enter the 2018 pool (or otherwise renegotiate their deal) 

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1 minute ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

I dont think 2018 is weak at all....I think there are a lot of really nice players that could create some serious second contract surplus. 

Anytime you look ahead a year, the FA class looks significantly stronger. Because teams havent prioritized retaining the potential FAs yet. Of the guys listed here, the majority of the actually desirable players won't sniff FA. I'd guess most of the old guys do but that list looks a whole lot different if you take the following names off of it: Danielle Hunter, Khalil Mack, Odell Beckham, Jadeveon Clowney, Zack Martin, Taylor Lewan, Aaron Donald. None of those dudes are going to see FA. Also, some of the dudes on the 2019 list are probably going to enter the 2018 pool (or otherwise renegotiate their deal) 

Care to add to my list of 2018 players you'd be interested in?

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Just now, Falcanuck said:

Sammy Watkins, Terelle Pyor and Josh Gordon, as FAs, do not inspire a ton of confidence in me. Tons of talent there. But if I'm going to gamble on high-ceiling, low-floor players, I'd do it in the draft.

They do to me man we aren't looking for a 1 A we are looking for a guy across from Julio and the more and more I think about this with Sanu's money basically paid making him cuttable end of next year Watkins would be my guy.

I see a guy just screaming out for a place to make home he sure hands quick can get deep he'd be a good pickup in my eyes.

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Just now, Falcanuck said:

Care to add to my list of 2018 players you'd be interested in?

Here's the list I'm working off of: http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/77018/309/2018-nfl-free-agent-tracker

Guys that I'd had some level of interest in:

QB - Nothing really here. 

RB - Isaiah Crowell, Jeremy Hill, Orleans Darkwa, Eddie Lacy (would much rather just draft a dude on Day 3)

FB - Who knows. UDFA, preferably. 

WR - Watkins, Robinson, Marqise Lee, John Brown, Donte Moncrief, Bruce Ellington, Jaron Brown, Cody Latimer, Michael Floyd

TE - Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert, ASJ, Trey Burton, Crockett Gilmore, Richard Rogers, Troy Niklas

OL - Bobby Hart, Michael Schofield, Justin Pugh, Norwell, Richburg, Mewhort, Swanson, Sean Lauvao, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Dakota Dozier, Billy Turner, Marcus Martin

Edge - Aaron Lynch, Kareem Martin, Jerry Attaouchu, Arthur Moats, Ziggy Ansah, Alex Okafor

DL - Sheldon Richardson, Star, Benny Logan, Kyle Williams, DaQuan Jones, Justin Ellis, McCullers

LB - Zach Brown, Kevin Minter, Preston Brown

DB - Think we're set here. Maybe a young second contract guy like Terrence Brooks or Eric Reid.

 

There are others that I could be interested in, as well. It sorta depends on the player and the price. 

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Just now, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Here's the list I'm working off of: http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/77018/309/2018-nfl-free-agent-tracker

Guys that I'd had some level of interest in:

QB - Nothing really here. 

RB - Isaiah Crowell, Jeremy Hill, Orleans Darkwa, Eddie Lacy (would much rather just draft a dude on Day 3)

FB - Who knows. UDFA, preferably. 

WR - Watkins, Robinson, Marqise Lee, John Brown, Donte Moncrief, Bruce Ellington, Jaron Brown, Cody Latimer, Michael Floyd

TE - Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert, ASJ, Trey Burton, Crockett Gilmore, Richard Rogers, Troy Niklas

OL - Bobby Hart, Michael Schofield, Justin Pugh, Norwell, Richburg, Mewhort, Swanson, Sean Lauvao, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Dakota Dozier, Billy Turner, Marcus Martin

Edge - Aaron Lynch, Kareem Martin, Jerry Attaouchu, Arthur Moats, Ziggy Ansah, Alex Okafor

DL - Sheldon Richardson, Star, Benny Logan, Kyle Williams, DaQuan Jones, Justin Ellis, McCullers

LB - Zach Brown, Kevin Minter, Preston Brown

DB - Think we're set here. Maybe a young second contract guy like Terrence Brooks or Eric Reid.

 

There are others that I could be interested in, as well. It sorta depends on the player and the price. 

I appreciate the list. There's a couple more I like out of that (Pugh, Minter). But those RBs..... 

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This is the NFL and you have no clue what's going to happen in a year let alone 2.

Look at the Colts for example.  They go into one offseason thinking next season they're going to be competing for a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning.  Then a year later Manning is gone and they have the #1 overall pick.

In the NFL you only have right now.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed. 

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Just now, Falcanuck said:

I appreciate the list. There's a couple more I like out of that (Pugh, Minter). But those RBs..... 

Its a weird group because those guys are going to want to be focal points. Which obviously wouldnt happen here. 

But for the right price as a depth option? I'm all about it. I think the only possibilities would be Lacy/Hill. But given how much everyone is talking about wanting a "big back" Crowell would be a great addition. He's gonna get paid elsewhere though. Probably go to NE and score 14 TDs next year. 

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3 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Its a weird group because those guys are going to want to be focal points. Which obviously wouldnt happen here. 

But for the right price as a depth option? I'm all about it. I think the only possibilities would be Lacy/Hill. But given how much everyone is talking about wanting a "big back" Crowell would be a great addition. He's gonna get paid elsewhere though. Probably go to NE and score 14 TDs next year. 

I really thought Crowell would have no choice but to blow up in CLE with how bad the passing game was. I also think he is going to tear it up when he goes elsewhere. Would he be a good fit here though? Haven't seen him enough to know if he's got decent hands, and would he perferom behind our OL/scheme?

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2 minutes ago, Pacific_Falcon said:

I really thought Crowell would have no choice but to blow up in CLE with how bad the passing game was. I also think he is going to tear it up when he goes elsewhere. Would he be a good fit here though? Haven't seen him enough to know if he's got decent hands, and would he perferom behind our OL/scheme?

His hands are pretty decent. A better receiver than I think he gets credit for. Not sure how he is in pass pro. 

Thats the biggest thing I'm looking for from our FA targets....guys who can outperform their reputation or current status in the league. Those are the types of players that swing teams into strong championship contention. The Patriots have been masterful at doing stuff like that. And given that we're largely looking for depth, I think we can take some chances on guys with upside in limited snaps. 

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42 minutes ago, Falcanuck said:

Looking at the list of FAs this coming offseason, I can't help but feel underwhelmed at the potential available talent. The Falcons will have a sizeable amount of cap space, but I just don't see who they'd spend that money on, nor do I see a need to cut solid roster players with high cap hits to make any large bids. Andrew Norwell, to me, is the only player in FA worth opening the vault for.

However, this might be a good thing, considering the 2019 FA class is shaping up to be one of the strongest in recent memory. Saving money and carrying over cap space could yield a massive haul, especially with some bad contracts expiring/eligible to be cut and young studs needing extensions.

Have a look:

Noteworthy 2018 FAs (relevant to Falcons' needs)

Andrew Norwell, G

Zach Brown, LB

Tyler Eifert, TE

Jimmy Graham, TE

Sheldon Richardson, DT

Ezekiel Ansah, DE

Lamarcus Joyner, FS/NB

 

That's really all I can see for us. Norwell being the only I'd dish out money to. DeMarcus Lawrence will be re-signed or tagged, LeVeon is a no-go, WR class is weak, LB class is weak, in regards to DTs likely the best FA available is our own player (whom I think can be replaced easily through the draft). It's a year I'm content with the Falcons not spending, frankly. I'd scrape the bargain bin for some depth and leadership and capitalize on some cap casualties -- that's it. 

Now look ahead to 2019. The only MUST signs (assuming a Matt Ryan extension this offseason) the Falcons will have are Grady Jarrett and Jake Matthews. And while, surely, several of these players will be extended prior to hitting FA, it's shaping up to be a fantastic class:

Noteworthy 2019 FAs (relevant to Falcons' needs)

Robert Quinn, DE

Richard Sherman, CB

Odell Beckham, WR

Aaron Donald, DT

Clay Matthews, OLB

Jadeveon Clowney, DE

Joe Thomas, LT

Zack Martin, G

Geno Atkins, DT

Khalil Mack, DE

Kwon Alexander, ILB

Earl Thomas, FS

Duane Brown, LT

Jordy Nelson, WR

Cameron Wake, DE

Carlos Dunlap, DE

Greg Olson, TE

Cliff Avril, DE

Delanie Walker, TE

Josh Sitton, G

Brandon Graham, DE

Ritchie Incognito, G

Anthony Barr, OLB

Taylor Lewan, LT

Danielle Hunter, DE

 

A drastic change in quality. A healthy portion of these players will slip through to FA -- I'd save up for them instead of wasting money on 2018's marginal talent.

 

 

 

wow 19 is loaded 

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20 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Here's the list I'm working off of: http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/77018/309/2018-nfl-free-agent-tracker

Guys that I'd had some level of interest in:

QB - Nothing really here. 

RB - Isaiah Crowell, Jeremy Hill, Orleans Darkwa, Eddie Lacy (would much rather just draft a dude on Day 3)

FB - Who knows. UDFA, preferably. 

WR - Watkins, Robinson, Marqise Lee, John Brown, Donte Moncrief, Bruce Ellington, Jaron Brown, Cody Latimer, Michael Floyd

TE - Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert, ASJ, Trey Burton, Crockett Gilmore, Richard Rogers, Troy Niklas

OL - Bobby Hart, Michael Schofield, Justin Pugh, Norwell, Richburg, Mewhort, Swanson, Sean Lauvao, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Dakota Dozier, Billy Turner, Marcus Martin

Edge - Aaron Lynch, Kareem Martin, Jerry Attaouchu, Arthur Moats, Ziggy Ansah, Alex Okafor

DL - Sheldon Richardson, Star, Benny Logan, Kyle Williams, DaQuan Jones, Justin Ellis, McCullers

LB - Zach Brown, Kevin Minter, Preston Brown

DB - Think we're set here. Maybe a young second contract guy like Terrence Brooks or Eric Reid.

 

There are others that I could be interested in, as well. It sorta depends on the player and the price. 

Marqise Lee is interesting , he had some decent games this year , could be a KR possibility too .

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17 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

This is the NFL and you have no clue what's going to happen in a year let alone 2.

Look at the Colts for example.  They go into one offseason thinking next season they're going to be competing for a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning.  Then a year later Manning is gone and they have the #1 overall pick.

In the NFL you only have right now.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed. 

Are you referring to the 2019 FA class? Yes, I addressed that. Many of those guys will be tagged. I listed 25 players, though, and the worst on that list is better than the best of 2018 (minus Norwell) imo. Spending capital on marginal FA talent is the best way to predict the future in the NFL -- it's not good.

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10 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

His hands are pretty decent. A better receiver than I think he gets credit for. Not sure how he is in pass pro. 

Thats the biggest thing I'm looking for from our FA targets....guys who can outperform their reputation or current status in the league. Those are the types of players that swing teams into strong championship contention. The Patriots have been masterful at doing stuff like that. And given that we're largely looking for depth, I think we can take some chances on guys with upside in limited snaps. 

So, in fairness, you agree with my OP. No big money contracts to come out of the 2018 class is what I'm hoping for. Value adds, nothing more.

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38 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Here's the list I'm working off of: http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/77018/309/2018-nfl-free-agent-tracker

Guys that I'd had some level of interest in:

QB - Nothing really here. 

RB - Isaiah Crowell, Jeremy Hill, Orleans Darkwa, Eddie Lacy (would much rather just draft a dude on Day 3)

FB - Who knows. UDFA, preferably. 

WR - Watkins, Robinson, Marqise Lee, John Brown, Donte Moncrief, Bruce Ellington, Jaron Brown, Cody Latimer, Michael Floyd

TE - Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert, ASJ, Trey Burton, Crockett Gilmore, Richard Rogers, Troy Niklas

OL - Bobby Hart, Michael Schofield, Justin Pugh, Norwell, Richburg, Mewhort, Swanson, Sean Lauvao, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Dakota Dozier, Billy Turner, Marcus Martin

Edge - Aaron Lynch, Kareem Martin, Jerry Attaouchu, Arthur Moats, Ziggy Ansah, Alex Okafor

DL - Sheldon Richardson, Star, Benny Logan, Kyle Williams, DaQuan Jones, Justin Ellis, McCullers

LB - Zach Brown, Kevin Minter, Preston Brown

DB - Think we're set here. Maybe a young second contract guy like Terrence Brooks or Eric Reid.

 

There are others that I could be interested in, as well. It sorta depends on the player and the price. 

Terrance Brooks...hmmm

Edited by BirdHeadKemo
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10 minutes ago, Falcanuck said:

So, in fairness, you agree with my OP. No big money contracts to come out of the 2018 class is what I'm hoping for. Value adds, nothing more.

For the most part, yeah. But I sort of feel that way all the time. 

Unless you're a bad bad football team with tons of money to burn OR a team making a very specific "all in" move to dive through a championship window, I dont like big money FA deals. 

We arguably belong in the second group. Accordingly, I think its pretty much just Sheldon Richardson or Star in terms of realistic big-money FA targets. Benny Logan would be a nice add but he went a lot cheaper last year than expected. Hopefully we can see that sort of DT market develop again. Or one of the big names get cut for cap reasons (Suh, Dareus, Geno). 

 

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18 minutes ago, Slappywhite said:

Marqise Lee is interesting , he had some decent games this year , could be a KR possibility too .

I think he'll probably get paid but I wouldnt hate it if we could add him for decent money and have him take care of returns and man the slot a bit. Would give us a lot of flexibility in the WR corps. 

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I’ll add some guys I would like the falcons to take a look at 

1. Aaron lynch has some pass rush upside and is a bigger body DE

2. Tank Carradine could replace Clayborn as a base end and rush inside on 3rd down. 

3. Chris Hubbard could start at RG 

4. Dequan Jones could replace Poe. He is listed at 320lb

Just looking for some value without breaking the bank for someone not worth the contract. 

 

Edited by rbrick28
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36 minutes ago, Falcanuck said:

Are you referring to the 2019 FA class? Yes, I addressed that. Many of those guys will be tagged. I listed 25 players, though, and the worst on that list is better than the best of 2018 (minus Norwell) imo. Spending capital on marginal FA talent is the best way to predict the future in the NFL -- it's not good.

I'm saying you can't play the 'let's wait until next year' game when it comes to improving the team.... especially when you're in WIN  NOW mode.

Like I said you don't know what will happen.  If you play the let's wait until next off season you're the Cleveland Browns or the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2008-2016 where you run through coaches and GMs every couple of years.

Nobody gets fired for spending money and the Falcons only have so long before they have to in a different direction on offense.  At some point in the near future Julio is going to lose a step.  Once that happens the entire complexion of the offense changes and Sark goes from being somewhat over-matched to COMPLETELY over-matched.  Hopefully we have a few good years of Julio left but he takes a beating every year.

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1 hour ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

His hands are pretty decent. A better receiver than I think he gets credit for. Not sure how he is in pass pro. 

Thats the biggest thing I'm looking for from our FA targets....guys who can outperform their reputation or current status in the league. Those are the types of players that swing teams into strong championship contention. The Patriots have been masterful at doing stuff like that. And given that we're largely looking for depth, I think we can take some chances on guys with upside in limited snaps. 

Yeah, Philly lucked out with warmack who was considered bust for a top 10 pick, injuries didn’t help him either. Pugh could be that guy, coming back from injury with a 1-2 year prove it Deal. 

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