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Five offseason moves to improve every NFC South and NFC West team

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I'll just post what ESPN, Bill Barnwell said about the Falcons.

The link is below.

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/25966875/five-2019-offseason-moves-nfc-team-make-bill-barnwell-predicts-trades-free-agency-cuts

Quote

Five offseason moves to improve every NFC South and NFC West team

Bill Barnwell ESPN Staff Writer

The NFL offseason is upon us. Most of the league has spent January thinking about what it's going to do in the player-acquisition period stretching through the end of April, and while the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams are a little behind the pack, I suspect they aren't too upset about having to catch up.

Over the next two weeks, I'm going to detail the first five moves I think every team should make this offseason. I'll begin in the NFC West and work my way east, and then catch up with the AFC next week. Check out the full schedule below:

Tuesday, Feb. 12: NFC West
Wednesday, Feb. 13: NFC South
Thursday, Feb. 14: NFC North
Friday, Feb. 15: NFC East

NFC SOUTH

Let's get to the NFC South, where the Saints repeated as division champs for the first time in franchise history. It would hardly be a surprise to see New Orleans win the division for the third consecutive season in 2019, but if Drew Brees slips, the rest of a frequently entertaining division will be ready to pounce. Let's start with the Falcons, who fired both coordinators in an attempt to get back to the playoffs ...

Atlanta Falcons

1. Negotiate a pay cut or a release with Vic Beasley Jr. The microcosm of promise unfulfilled on the Atlanta defense, Beasley led the league with 15.5 sacks in 2016 and has just 10 sacks over two seasons since. The 15.5-sack season was about as unlikely of a campaign as you'll see from a pass-rusher -- he knocked down opposing passers only 16 times in 2016. Beasley was supposed to break out with a full-time move back to the defensive line in 2018, but the former first-round pick generated just five sacks in 16 games.

It's too early to give up on Beasley rounding into form, but his $12.8 million cap hit for 2019 is untenable. In a draft in which there is oodles of defensive line talent, it's difficult to believe that Beasley would get something approaching $13 million per season in free agency, even given that he's two seasons removed from a sack crown. As Beasley turns 27 in July, he's also older than just about every other defender from his 2015 draft class. He's seven months older than Jadeveon Clowney, who was taken with the first pick a year earlier.

There should be a middle ground here that makes sense for both sides. The Falcons could give Beasley a four-year, $62 million extension with $8 million in Year 1 and nothing else fully guaranteed until next March, when the Falcons would either decline their option on the remainder of Beasley's deal or pick up $34 million in guarantees over the subsequent two seasons. If they can't come to terms, the Falcons should trade Beasley for a late-round pick and use the $12.8 million they save elsewhere.

Atlanta already cleared out more than $15 million in room by cutting Robert Alford, Matt Bryant and Brooks Reed, getting the team to just under $29 million in space.

2. Franchise Grady Jarrett. The Falcons will use about half of that available space if they franchise Jarrett, who has rounded into an imposing force in the middle of their defense and arguably become their best pass-rusher. Jarrett finished the season with six sacks and 16 knockdowns, and while he hasn't had that dominant season his tape might indicate, he is still just 25 years old.

The good news for the Falcons is that the defensive tackle franchise tag is consistently less than the figure for defensive ends. CBS' Joel Corry projects a $15.4 million tag for defensive tackles in 2019. A Jarrett extension would come in somewhere around $15 million to $17 million per season.

3. Address the guard spot. After their offensive line went 80-for-80 in starts in 2016 and stayed healthy for the entire regular season, the Falcons haven't been quite as lucky with their line over the ensuing two seasons. Atlanta's would-be starting linemen have missed 28 games over the past two seasons.

The line also hasn't played as well, with the Falcons struggling to replace retired guard Chris Chester. Wes Schweitzer, who won the right guard job as a rookie in 2017, lost it in 2018 before being forced to play left guard once Andy Levitre went down with a torn triceps in Week 2. Levitre is now a free agent. Right tackle Ryan Schraeder hasn't been 100 percent. There just isn't much here after Jake Matthews and Alex Mack, and Atlanta's influential center will turn 34 in November.

Atlanta needs to get better play from its guards in 2019. One obvious fit in free agency might be J.R. Sweezy, given the presence of former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator, but the Bucs also had Sweezy take a pay cut after he missed all of his first season in 2016 thanks to injuries and then cut him outright after Year 2. You would understand if Sweezy isn't desperate for another round with Koetter. Rodger Saffold, arguably the top guard on the market, is probably out of Atlanta's price range. The Falcons might have to get creative.

4. Find a new receiving back. When the Falcons signed Devonta Freeman to a five-year, $41.3 million extension, it signaled they were probably going to move on from Tevin Coleman when the lighter half of their running back rotation hit free agency. The Freeman deal, signed after two years in a Kyle Shanahan scheme that has made basically every running back look great for a decade, has been a loser so far. Freeman's efficiency dropped while he fumbled four times in 2017, and he missed 14 games last season.

Coleman was competent in Freeman's absence, but he's going to get a multiyear deal on the market. The Falcons will want to draft a receiving back to replace Coleman.

5. Extend Julio Jones. The Falcons don't typically extend their players before the final year of their deals -- Atlanta didn't even hand Matt Ryan a new deal after he won MVP with two years left to go on his deal in 2016 -- but they could make an exception for their star wideout. Jones made his desires known last summer by deleting all of the Falcons content from his Instagram account, and the Falcons subsequently turned some of his 2018 and 2019 base salary into a bonus to get Jones a quick boost.

Nobody would argue against the idea that Jones is underpaid, given that he has two years and just over $21 million left on his extension in a market in which Sammy Watkins just signed a three-year, $48 million deal. Jones is closer to Marqise Lee-type money, and while I don't want to be disrespectful to the Lee family, I think even they would admit that Jones is a different caliber of receiver.

It will be tricky because the other recent major contracts for wideouts were signed with one year left to go on their respective deals. Mike Evans got $41.8 million in new money over the first three seasons of his extension. Antonio Brown picked up $42.2 million in the same category, and Odell Beckham Jr. was at $44.3 million. Evans has the most total money due over the first three seasons of his deal at $55 million, but he also was already in line to make $13.3 million and the third year of his extension is unguaranteed.

Because Jones has two years left on his current deal, the calculus changes. The Falcons also front-loaded Jones' last extension to pay him more money up front, and after he wanted to hold out on the back end of the deal, they probably won't want to do that again as part of his current extension. This is going to be a complicated negotiation.

Jones will look to top Beckham's contract numbers, which means something in the ballpark of a five-year, $95 million extension. The goal for Julio and his representation would probably be to take home something around $60 million over the first three years of the deal.

 

Chitown2ATL_Falcon likes this

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Forget Franchising Grady just give him a **** contract. It'll be cheaper than 15 mill this year and nail our best DLineman down long term. 

Also, he wants us to extend JJ's contract by 5 years, in other words until he's 37? Or when he says a five year extension does he mean that as the total contract?

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53 minutes ago, Lornoth said:

Forget Franchising Grady just give him a **** contract. It'll be cheaper than 15 mill this year and nail our best DLineman down long term. 

Also, he wants us to extend JJ's contract by 5 years, in other words until he's 37? Or when he says a five year extension does he mean that as the total contract?

I believe he is talking about in total.

It shall be interesting how they re-work his contract.

PokerSteve likes this

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1 hour ago, athell said:

"Nobody would argue against the idea that Jones is underpaid"

Bill Barnwell clearly never reads TATF and god bless him for it.

I certainly don’t think Julio is overpaid. I love everything about him as a person and player.  I’m just not certain the WR position really justifies a 17 million per year contract.  If you were building a roster from scratch, I don’t think a receiver making  17 million is ideal.  

But in no way do I want us to trade Julio.  So pay him what he wants and let’s roll.  

But consider, we pay 12 million more for our receivers than either Pittsburgh or NE. 

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21 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

I certainly don’t think Julio is overpaid. I love everything about him as a person and player.  I’m just not certain the WR position really justifies a 17 million per year contract.  If you were building a roster from scratch, I don’t think a receiver making  17 million is ideal.  

But in no way do I want us to trade Julio.  So pay him what he wants and let’s roll.  

But consider, we pay 12 million more for our receivers than either Pittsburgh or NE. 

It is a big number for sure.  And like RB, history has proven you don't need an elite WR to win a Superbowl.

Just hard because guys like Julio don't come along often and feel like if they ever got rid of him over money, 90% of the fan population would revolt.

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4 minutes ago, athell said:

It is a big number for sure.  And like RB, history has proven you don't need an elite WR to win a Superbowl.

Just hard because guys like Julio don't come along often and feel like if they ever got rid of him over money, 90% of the fan population would revolt.

Totally agree

athell likes this

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At this point, it basically seems like a trade of Vic or Grady. If they franchise Grady at $15MM and they keep Vic at his $13MM cap hit, they literally will only have $14MM in cap space. With the pressure that's on them, going into 2019 standing pat and relying on the draft to fix everything would be a deserved way for them to get fired. 

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2 hours ago, vel said:

At this point, it basically seems like a trade of Vic or Grady. If they franchise Grady at $15MM and they keep Vic at his $13MM cap hit, they literally will only have $14MM in cap space. With the pressure that's on them, going into 2019 standing pat and relying on the draft to fix everything would be a deserved way for them to get fired. 

I think they'll dance with the chick they brought to the prom, and they won't trade either player.

If it gets them fired then fine, but you got to ride this out. You can't keep starting over.

Now, it's defense.

Stick with these guys and add another in the draft and let's roll.

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5 hours ago, athell said:

It is a big number for sure.  And like RB, history has proven you don't need an elite WR to win a Superbowl.

Just hard because guys like Julio don't come along often and feel like if they ever got rid of him over money, 90% of the fan population would revolt.

Just like Vick

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Not sure we need another receiving back. We haven't thrown to the backs we have since Shanny left. And now Ridley and Hoop need more targets. If anything we need a big back that can convert the 3rd and ones, score in the red zone and handle the clock killing runs late in games we're leading.

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15 hours ago, FalconFanSince1970 said:

Not sure we need another receiving back. We haven't thrown to the backs we have since Shanny left. And now Ridley and Hoop need more targets. If anything we need a big back that can convert the 3rd and ones, score in the red zone and handle the clock killing runs late in games we're leading.

I can see us going RB for a dodgy, pass catcher type in the 5thish, then a bruiser in the last round or two or grab a couple UFA's and see what happens in camp.

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21 hours ago, athell said:

It is a big number for sure.  And like RB, history has proven you don't need an elite WR to win a Superbowl.

Just hard because guys like Julio don't come along often and feel like if they ever got rid of him over money, 90% of the fan population would revolt.

Agree. I seriously doubt average fans are all that aware or concerned about how much a team can actually afford to give any specific player and still retain the ability to pay other key players what the market dictates for them. So yes, the butthurt of losing Julio because of contract issues would no doubt be titanic.

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38 minutes ago, Pacific_Falcon said:

I can see us going RB for a dodgy, pass catcher type in the 5thish, then a bruiser in the last round or two or grab a couple UFA's and see what happens in camp.

Right!  He didnt accidentally end up with 30 rushing TDs from 2015-2017.  I dont really care what type of back it is to fill the 2nd or 3rd spot.  What I want is a change of pace from Freeman.  Ito is nothing more than the poor mans version of Freeman.  We need either a speedy scatback with hands or a powerful bowling ball who is hard to wrap up and pushes piles. Just get us a guy to give a different look to defenses. 

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29 minutes ago, FalconJim said:


WOW, looks like a 5 yr. $95 MILLION deal for Julio!  Can we afford to pay Grady and others, if we tie up that much money on a WR?  Asking for a friend --- :rolleyes:  



 
 

All our big contracts are going to eat huge chunks out of our CAP. With Ryan's $30m per, Grady at $18m and Julio at a proposed $19m you've got almost one-third of your total team CAP allocated to 3 players, not even adding in a possible $12m for Beasley. I would not want to be Dimitroff trying to keep everybody you want to keep with what's going to be left.

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8 hours ago, PokerSteve said:

All our big contracts are going to eat huge chunks out of our CAP. With Ryan's $30m per, Grady at $18m and Julio at a proposed $19m you've got almost one-third of your total team CAP allocated to 3 players, not even adding in a possible $12m for Beasley. I would not want to be Dimitroff trying to keep everybody you want to keep with what's going to be left.

Julio still has two years left on his contract— he cannot be too wishy washy— The Falcons Should be able to bring his Cap space down for the next 2 years allowing more moves. 

VIC has no levarge, he has too renegotiate at a lower salary. Grady’s contract should be a Cap friendly contract. 

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8 minutes ago, stingbee said:

Julio still has two years left on his contract— he cannot be too wishy washy— The Falcons Should be able to bring his Cap space down for the next 2 years allowing more moves. 

VIC has no levarge, he has too renegotiate at a lower salary. Grady’s contract should be a Cap friendly contract. 

They've already promised Julio they'd make him happy. No leverage remaining after that statement. lol. Vic's agent will be playing up the former Sack Leader credentials and Vic's still young age to get him up over $10m per. As to Grady's contract, I agree he can and will get his big up-front bonus and stretch out the rest to ease the CAP crunch. 

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On 2/14/2019 at 8:54 AM, vel said:

At this point, it basically seems like a trade of Vic or Grady. If they franchise Grady at $15MM and they keep Vic at his $13MM cap hit, they literally will only have $14MM in cap space. With the pressure that's on them, going into 2019 standing pat and relying on the draft to fix everything would be a deserved way for them to get fired. 

I’m not sure there showing the same enthusiasm about Beasley as they are Jarrett.I personally think a deal will get done.If that’s at the cost of Beasley so be it.I just don’t think they covert Beasley as much as Jarrett.In my mind I think there sold on Jarrett as being a key pillar of this team and if as above at the coast of 44 so be it.

Biggest off season question will Beasley take less.

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59 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

I’m not sure how I missed this part from the article: the Falcons can afford to offer Beasley 62 million over 4 years.  

Yeah, that’s not happening

Yeah I get what the article was saying about keeping year 1 low, but that’s just a ridiculous amount to give. If Beasley plays well and we want to keep him at that point, he’s stuck in a stupidly large contract that becomes fully guaranteed. Terrible idea by the writer. 

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On 2/13/2019 at 2:20 PM, Falconsin2012 said:

I certainly don’t think Julio is overpaid. I love everything about him as a person and player.  I’m just not certain the WR position really justifies a 17 million per year contract.  If you were building a roster from scratch, I don’t think a receiver making  17 million is ideal.  

But consider, we pay 12 million more for our receivers than either Pittsburgh or NE. 

Yep exactly this.  Then throw in the fact that Julio is always lacking in TDs and it really ain't worth spending all that money on a WR when we have way bigger holes in our roster to fill.  If we didn't have these gaping holes to fill, and had extra cash to burn then sure but in a salary cap league you got to allocate your money properly.  I don't think many of these turds on here understand that and think we can just pay everyone a ton of money all the time. 

Also as the article mentioned, Julio wasn't complaining about his contract when he signed it.  Also if we are just going to keep paying our players more because someone else out there is making more than them at their position but is worse than our player, then why don't we bump up M Ryan's pay another 20 million a season?  If anyone deserves it on our team it is M Ryan.  Cousins is making $28 guaranteed, with M Ryan making $18.9 million guaranteed.  M Ryan's stats blow Cousins out of the water, so why don't we pay M Ryan like it? 

Just because some team or two out there is stupid and way over pays for a player (Cousins, Sammy W, etc) doesn't mean that we should over pay our player to compensate for it.  The main reason for this is that we have major needs on our team that we need to address by throwing money at it.

Edited by dawgsjw
FalconFanSince1970 likes this

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