Are the Falcons ever going to add to their pass rush?

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The bulk of the offseason, as far as free agency and trades are concerned, is over with, and the Falcons’ most glaring need for the last decade-plus remains their chief concern as the draft approaches.

Nobody has been worse at sacking the quarterback in recent years than the Atlanta Falcons. You have to go all the way back to the 2017-2018 season to find an Atlanta defense that finished even league average in sacks, with multiple finishing in the bottom three over that stretch. It’s been a problem forever; the Falcons haven’t had an annual double-digit sack threat since John Abraham was roaming the Georgia Dome over a decade ago, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change this year.

With the best free agent pass rushers off the board, one of the last remaining hopes for the Falcons to land a premier pass rusher was Haason Reddick. The Eagles made him available early in the offseason, and he finally has a new home, after the Jets acquired him for a 2026 third-round pick that could turn into a second-round pick if he hits certain thresholds, according to Adam Schefter.

For a player with 50.5 sacks over the last four seasons, a conditional third-round pick in the 2026 draft is chump change.

The New York Jets, who are hoping to have a healthy Aaron Rodgers back in the fold next season, are putting the entire league on notice. They’re all in, knowing their window is closing with a 40-year-old quarterback.

Which is why the Falcons’ lack of interest in Haason Reddick is troublesome for many fans who have watched this team struggle to get after the quarterback year after year. Terry Fontenot made a win-now acquisition by signing Kirk Cousins to a four-year contract worth $180 million with $100 million in guarantees, but the Falcons aren’t going to be able to win anything with their current EDGE group.

An argument could be made that the Falcons have the worst EDGE unit in the league. Many expect them to target pass rushers heavily in the draft, but it’s difficult for any rookie to come in and make the kind of impact they are going to need in year one, even if the Falcons take one with the 8th overall pick.

This is a group that needs multiple additions, and not just rookies. A plethora of pass rushers have been moved over the last calendar year, many that the Falcons have been in on, but to no avail. Now, there aren’t many options left.

One would expect the Falcons to operate similarly to the way they did last year when they signed Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree to one-year deals. Both of those players are currently free agents and could conceivably be brought back, but it’s not going to be enough to give Atlanta the championship-caliber defense they should be trying to put together with a win-now quarterback like Kirk Cousins.

For an organization that has struggled so mightily at sacking the quarterback, the lack of aggressiveness from Terry Fontenot and company is frustrating. Hopefully, the Falcons still have a trick up their sleeve ahead of the draft.

Photo: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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