The Falcons have been quietly busy this offseason, firing and hiring new coaches, while also bringing in new players. The team elected to let 35 year old Jonathan Babineaux walk in order to bring in Jack Crawford, a six-year veteran who is only 28 years old. They also let Tyson Jackson walk, in order to create more cap room for the team to make a significant move on a free agent they needed. The man they needed and who was one of the top names in free agency on the defensive side elected to come to Atlanta, and he is Dontari Poe.
Takkarist McKinkley and Duke Riley were the first and third selections in the draft and will make impacts on this team, but not the impact that Dontari Poe will make in 2017. At 26, Poe is entering his prime and can be a force on the Falcons defensive line. The two-time Pro Bowler was a nose tackle in Kansas City’s 3-4 defensive scheme, and Quinn’s 4-3 scheme will still allow Poe to clog up the middle. He and Grady Jarrett can form an excellent duo and take more pressure from opposing offensive linemen to create one-on-one opportunities for Falcons defensive ends, especially Vic Beasley.
The defending NFC champions did not have many glaring holes before the 2017 season. They retained most in-house free agents, while also adding players they believe that bring more value to the team. Signing a 1 year/$8 million deal, Poe should be a very impactful player as he is betting on himself. He took less money to come to Atlanta, which looks like he wants to win and win now. The contract is also a “prove-it” deal, as he is going to do his best to have a big season in order to make a lot of money in 2018 free agency. Poe should have a significant impact in order to make his players around him better.