The Atlanta Falcons had a rough season last year, failing to qualify for the postseason for the fourth year in a row. Their last playoff appearance came in 2017 when they lost to the Eagles in the Divisional Round, just one year removed from their latest Super Bowl appearance. They finished in third place in the NFC South with a record of 7-10 last season, behind the first-place Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the second-place New Orleans Saints.
The Falcons will no doubt have a long list of priorities this offseason, including making decisions on their current free agents like Cordarrelle Patterson. They’ll also want to bring in some depth at wide receiver especially after Calvin Ridley was handed down a suspension for the entire 2022 season. They just lost Russell Gage, who signed with the Bucs, so they’ll be in desperate need of a solid wideout or two ahead of next season.
Let’s take a look at the moves they’ve made so far in free agency.
Falcons players added (as of March 18)
The Falcons have already made several moves, including cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. who spent last season with the Raiders. He’ll sign a two-year deal worth about $11 million, bringing in some much-needed veteran leadership as he’ll likely start opposite A.J. Terrell. RB Damien Williams also signed a one-year deal with the Falcons after spending last season in Chicago. Williams has never been the lead running back in his professional career, so it’s likely a depth signing especially given the status of Cordarrelle Patterson and Mike Davis.
In addition, Atlanta re-signed kicker Younghoe Koo to a five year, $24.25 million deal, securing one of the NFL’s most consistent kickers in the long term. They also signed cornerback Teez Tabor, OT Elijah Wilkinson, and DT Anthony Rush to one-year deals. G Colby Gossett re-signed as well after spending last season in Atlanta but only seeing one start.
Falcons players lost (as of March 18)
Atlanta released defensive lineman Tyeler Davison, as he was on the last of a three-year, $12 million deal in 2022. It should free up some salary cap space for the Falcons as they continue to make more acquisitions going forward.
They also lost Russell Gage after he agreed to a deal with the Bucs as mentioned before, while Foyesade Oluokun signed with the Jaguars after the Falcons apparently made a big push to keep him in Atlanta as well.
Grade so far
C+: While the Falcons have made some solid signings to improve their depth, they’re still within spitting distance of their salary cap, and will have to make some more decisions to free up some more space in the coming days and weeks. They still need to address their WR issues after losing Gage to the Bucs and Ridley to suspension. With the Matt Ryan trade rumors looming, they may be in the market for another starting quarterback fairly soon. It’s a good start for Atlanta, but they still have plenty of work to do ahead of next season.