After Dante Fowler signed a three-year, $48 million contract to come off the edge and create havoc, the Falcons still have a few needs that have to be addressed. Cornerback is the primary one, and Everson Griffen is a name that’s floated around Falcons fans as a potential addition. Jadeveon Clowney is out there, but he’s seeking a massive payday and cannot be afforded. Atlanta also needs to bring in a linebacker with De’Vondre Campbell on the market. This team still has plenty of needs to fill, and restructures will likely happen, but what are the other options?
The only real candidate available left to be cut is Allen Bailey. He’ll carry a $1.5 million penalty and save the team roughly $4.5 million. He’s strictly a cap casualty; I like Bailey as a player, and he still might stick around. Atlanta decided to pick up Matt Schaub’s $2.375 million option, which could be pocketed if another quarterback like Kurt Benkert steps up and takes his spot during the preseason. It’s not ridiculous money for a backup Quarterback, but given the Falcons cap situation, it may have been worth it to roll the dice. Guys like Danny Etling are almost sure to be cut this offseason, but the difference they’ll make in the cap sheet is very minimal. Alex Mack can be cut for around $6 million in savings, but that would be addition by subtraction and incredibly idiotic considering this offensive line is awful enough as is.
Sadly, unless some guys on this roster are willing to take some massive restructures/pay cuts, substantial splashes are highly unlikely. At best, I expect Atlanta to bring in someone like Clayborn and a veteran corner like a Brandon Carr on smaller deals to stay under the cap and fill out some roster spots. Barring an unforeseen trade, it should be a quiet free agency the rest of the way… because the Falcons owe Jamon Brown and James Carpenter a combined $12 million this offseason. Yippee.