CBS Sports gives glowing review of Falcons first wave of signings

NFL: NOV 20 Bears at Falcons

The Falcons have inked deals with a plethora free agents during the first week of free agency.

Cousins was by far the biggest free agent move of the offseason thus far. The veteran quarterback was between the Vikings and Falcons but chose Atlanta over Minnesota because of the club’s willingness to give him the contract he desired, which was $180 million over four years with $100 million guaranteed.

He immediately fills the most significant void on the roster as well as provides an immense upgrade from what the team got from the position last year. The Falcons aren’t NFC South favorites because Kirk Cousins is head and shoulders better than Baker Mayfield and Derek Carr, because he’s not. Atlanta is expected to win the division because they nearly did with Desmond Ridder, who Cousins is head and shoulders better than.

Outside of quarterback, the roster’s most pressing need was wide receiver and a three-year deal with Mooney filled it. $13 million per year for a guy coming off a 414-yard campaign doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s not what Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris are expecting.

The former Bears pass catcher is expected to experience some positive regression with better quarterback play and a better offensive coordinator in Atlanta compared to Chicago. Something closer to his 2021 performance, where he logged over 1,000 yards on 81 receptions, is what the Falcons are hoping for.

The Falcons ended their first wave of free agency by signing Charlie Woerner. The former Georgia Bulldogs tight end agreed to a three-year deal to return to his home state to assume a blocking role on offense and a prominent role on special teams.

Most love the free agent class for the Falcons, including CBS Sports, who gave Atlanta an A grade.

The Atlanta Falcons now have a complete offense. An explosive young running back (Bijan Robinson, the eighth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft whose 1,463 scrimmage yards were the most by a rookie in team history), two incredibly athletically-gifted pass-catchers (2021 fourth overall draft pick tight end Kyle Pitts and 2022 eighth overall draft pick wide receiver Drake London) and a strong offensive line (quarterback pressure rate allowed of 31.1% last year, fifth in the NFL, led by PFF’s highest-graded guard Chris Lindstrom, 89.7 PFF offensive grade). Kirk Cousins (four years, $180 million; $100 million guaranteed) is the distributor of the football this squad has sorely lacked. The Falcons also filled their third pass-catcher slot with former Chicago Darnell Mooney via a three-year, $39 million pact. He’ll have a chance to reignite his career at age 27 in 2024 after being trapped in a run-first offense.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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