The Falcons roster is an excellent position heading into training camp season. I would expect some more minor tweaks, especially with clubs cutting expensive veterans to get down to a 53-man roster.
Terry Fontenot has been heralded for his ability to find diamonds in the rough, and the receiver room could use bolstering. However, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes the Falcons should float trading Cordarrelle Patterson.
The Atlanta Falcons are poised to have perhaps the most dynamic backfield in the NFL this season. Tyler Allgeier topped 1,000 rushing yards as a rookie in 2022, fellow rookie Caleb Huntley saw limited work but averaged 4.8 yards per carry, and do-it-all runner-receiver Cordarrelle Patterson 817 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns.
To that group, Atlanta added Texas prospect Bijan Robinson, who could be the league’s next big star.
“I thought Saquon Barkley was sensational coming out of Penn State,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said on First Draft in March. “I’ll make this argument … I think Bijan Robinson is more talented coming out of Texas.”
While it’s fun to think about all the different ways Atlanta could use these four, the reality is that there may not be room for everyone. Of the group, Patterson is the most logical trade candidate for Atlanta.
The 32-year-old is entering the final year of his contract, and the Falcons could save $4.3 million in cap space by trading him. While the return for Patterson wouldn’t be massive, Atlanta should be able to get a pick or player back from a team with less backfield depth.
With Algeier now a proven runner and Robinson able to do a lot of the things as a runner and receiver that Patterson does, the four-time All-Pro may simply be more valuable as a trade piece than a third-string option to Atlanta.
The Falcons do have an absolutely loaded backfield with Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, and Cordarrelle Patterson. In an ordinary world, I’d agree with Knox’s estimation that Patterson is a luxury, but we live in Arthur Smith’s world.
The Falcons’ offense will look much different than most fans are used to. Robinson and Patterson are better described as weapons than running backs. The pair will obviously assume a traditional running back role but will also take snaps from the slot and boundary. Moreover, Arthur Smith wants to run the ball as much as any offense in the league; having three horses will keep each fresh for the long haul.
Moving Patterson makes sense in a vacuum, but when provided context, it makes less sense. Knox had to create a trade piece for each team, so it’s not really his fault. The Falcons just aren’t in a position to move anyone; everyone has a role.
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