The NFL trade deadline is right around the corner, and there will surely be plenty of movement across rosters. The Panthers will definitely be sellers, given their clear rebuilding window at 1-5. Carolina has already traded away Robbie Anderson, and Christian McCaffery is also a name that’s been tossed around, but there are even more players that will likely be on the move.
Several teams have called the Patriots to inquire about Kendrick Bourne. Las Vegas has been rumored to be looking to move former first-rounders Clelin Ferrell and Johnathan Abram. According to ESPN, a number of tight ends could be made available — Austin Hooper of the Titans, Mike Gesicki of the Dolphins, and Albert Okwuegbunam of the Broncos.
We already know about Cam Akers and the Rams looking for an amicable split, which I believe the Falcons probably won’t be interested in. There is also a couple of defensive backs that could be available, such as William Jackson III of Washinton and Sidney Jones IV of Seattle. The Giants could be looking to move one of many different receivers — Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Darius Slayton.
Atlanta has already traded Deion Jones to the Browns. But that was the last contract that had to come off the books, so I’d be shocked if they were sellers at the deadline. But will they be buyers? The Falcons could use an influx of talent at several position groups. Most notably, the defensive line needs bolstering. Grady Jarrett is playing out of his mind this season, and Ta’Quon Graham is developing quickly. Abdullah Anderson is solid as a nose-stuffing defender but offers little as a pass rusher. The group needs more depth.
However, I don’t see the Falcons doing much of anything despite Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith saying multiple times they would do anything to improve the roster. I’m not saying it’s not happening; I’d just be surprised if the Falcons were active at the trade deadline. The team probably doesn’t want to give up any draft assets, regardless of the successful start to the season.
We are still in the infant stages of this rebuild; it might be ahead of schedule to this point, but the roster isn’t in a position to compete in January. So giving away draft picks would be asinine. Coaching is making the biggest difference right now; the personnel is still bottom of the barrel. This isn’t a team like the Packers, who are racing the clock. The Falcons have time.
Still, if I had to play devil’s advocate, the Falcons might be interested in someone who could contribute down the road more so than just during this season. One-year rentals won’t even cross Terry Fontenot’s desk, but a high-upside player on their rookie contract in need of a fresh start could spark his interest.
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