Defensive line free agents the Falcons should keep eyes on

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Though Thomas Dimitroff is financially restricted, it is entirely possible for frugal 2020 free agency signings. The defensive line is in question, with the Falcons in need of both starters and rotational pieces. Grady Jarrett is slotted in the middle for the foreseeable future but lacks a running mate. Still, this article is highlighting realistic options, and bringing in a reasonably priced free agent who can immediately produce is a long shot.

If any free agent is acquired across the defensive line, it will be a “penny stock” player; opposed to the “blue-chip stock” options like Jadeveon Clowney, Dante Fowler, or Chris Jones, who will command multi-year contracts with sizeable guaranteed money. I’m not going to present a false sense of hope. Due to the Falcons’ salary cap restraint, this will focus on the 2020 defensive line free agents that are inclined to take team-friendly, 1-2-year deals.

Robert Quinn

According to Spotrac, Quinn is currently being paid $8 million in Dallas. Although this is the ceiling, Quinn could possibly be interested in a 2-year deal. He would fill a starting role immediately, giving the team a defensive end that is better capable than either 2019 starter in the run game and the passing game. Positives for the team are that Quinn is 30 years old but still played in 14 games. Other franchises are less likely to give a 30 something year old on his soon to be the fourth team a multi-year deal, and if the Falcons commit to the vet on a 2-year contract, then the front office has a chance.

Derek Wolfe

Wolfe finds himself in a similar situation as Quinn, in that the two are on the ladder side of 30. The difference is Wolfe can’t seem to stay healthy for a full season. This can be a potential positive for the Falcons because an older interior lineman with injury questions will be undervalued by other teams, but a move like this comes with obvious risk.

Wolfe being placed on injured reserve is a scenario the Falcons can’t afford, given they will only be able to make a few moves in a free agency, and they must be positive ones. Fans can expect injury stipulations in a contract with someone whose injury history is within question. To protect themselves, the front office should offer a minimum figure for guaranteed money. An incentive-based agreement that rewards Wolfe for playing in an agreed-upon number of games is the most realistic option for both parties.

Mario Addison

Addison is turning 33 in September. But similar to ex-Panther Julius Peppers, he is showing there is plenty left in the tank, recording nine or more sacks in each season since 2016. Addison isn’t a household name like Robert Quinn might be, but his body of work independent of his age should reward him handsomely in his next contract. However, during his tenure within Carolina, he was surrounded by above-average players at every level of defense. This could potentially put the front office in a position of strength during future negotiations.

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