June 25, 2024

No longer will subpar quarterback performance serve as an excuse for lackluster outcomes. Arthur Blank and Terry Fontenot have made it clear to the rest of the league that they believe they can contend with Cousins at the helm.

NFL: NOV 05 Vikings at Falcons

Coach Morris gathered his team for their inaugural meeting yesterday for voluntary workouts, and with the season fast approaching, there’s still much to accomplish in the offseason.

Looking ahead to the NFL Draft, which is approximately three weeks away, the Falcons hold four selections within the top 100, courtesy of the Calvin Ridley trade, which secured an additional third-round pick. The Falcons’ complete draft picks are as follows:

– Round 1, Pick 8
– Round 2, Pick 43
– Round 3, Pick 74
– Round 3, Pick 79 (acquired from JAX)
– Round 4, Pick 109
– Round 5, Pick 143
– Round 6, Pick 187
– Round 6, Pick 197 (via CLE)

Additionally, there’s a need to generate more cap space for the incoming rookie class, which Over The Cap estimates will cost upwards of $12 million. This necessity also extends to enhancing flexibility for bolstering the defense, which remains a priority for the Falcons. Here are potential moves the Falcons could execute to increase their cap space:

– Restructure Jake Matthews’ contract: (Savings: $9,526,667)
– Restructure Grady Jarrett’s contract: (Savings: $7,520,000)
– Restructure Chris Lindstrom’s contract: (Savings: $9,100,000)
– Restructure Jessie Bates’ contract: (Savings: $7,916,667)
– Release Lorenzo Carter: (Savings: $3,750,000)
– Release Mike Hughes: (Savings: $3,095,000)

Total Potential Savings: $40,908,334

Strengthening the Defense

While the Falcons boast a championship-caliber offense with Kirk Cousins and Darnell Mooney leading the charge, the defensive side of the ball presents more challenges than solutions. Both the front line and the secondary could benefit from additional talent infusion. In particular, the edge rush unit requires significant attention. With only nine total sacks returning from key players like Arnold Ebiketie, Lorenzo Carter, and DeAngelo Malone, there’s a clear need for improvement.

Furthermore, the departure of co-sack leaders Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree, who are currently free agents, leaves a notable void in the pass rush. While the potential return of these players would strengthen the Falcons, it may not suffice for a team with aspirations for a championship. Similarly, concerns linger in the secondary beyond A.J. Terrell and Jessie Bates, highlighting the need for reinforcements at cornerback.

Priority Moves:
Extend A.J. Terrell

An extension for A.J. Terrell appears imminent given his integral role in the Falcons’ defense. Following the precedent set by Chris Lindstrom’s lucrative contract last offseason, Terrell is poised to secure a similar deal. A potential four- or five-year extension worth around $19-20 million per year would place him among the top-paid cornerbacks in the league, reflecting his value to the team.

Exercise Kyle Pitts’ Fifth-Year Option

Securing Kyle Pitts‘ fifth-year option is a no-brainer decision for the Falcons. Despite facing challenges such as injury setbacks and inconsistent quarterback play, Pitts showcased his potential with an impressive rookie campaign, earning a Pro Bowl nod. With a healthier outlook for the upcoming season and the addition of Kirk Cousins as the signal-caller, Pitts is poised for a resurgence in 2024. Therefore, exercising his fifth-year option is a prudent move to solidify his role in Atlanta’s offensive scheme.

Falcons' Kyle Pitts feels prepared for his NFL debut Sunday

 

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